Our last article for this blog was “If your pastor does these 10 things, your church has hit the jackpot.”
Now, here is the other side of the coin.
If your church does the following ten things, your pastor–particularly if he is new–will feel he has won the jackpot. Stumbled onto a treasure. Won the lottery. Been richly blessed of the Lord. Choose your figure of speech.
- The congregation is prayerful and supportive of the pastor. I mean people really pray, when groups get together they pray, and prayer is given a prominent place in all they do. That is so rare.
- Members speak up for the pastor. When someone criticizes him unfairly, other members are quick to defend the minister. Perhaps they have seen churches where church members are allowed free reign to attack the preacher viciously without being held accountable. A mature and responsible church would not let that happen. For some reason when a pastor is unfairly attacked or slandered, most people tend to sit back and force the pastor to defend himself or to suffer it in silence. Neither is best. The ideal is for faithful laypeople to speak up promptly and set the record straight, doing so in love and firmness. A pastor so blessed will consider himself highly honored, believe me.
- They pay well. The appropriate committee sees that the pastor and other ministers are well-compensated and given appropriate and timely raises as the church is able.
- There are great benefits. Health insurance, retirement, sick leave, and money for continuing education are all provided.
- Longevity. They keep their ministers–pastors and staff–for many years. Stability and strength characterize this congregation.
- The lay leaders are mature and understanding. Every few years, they insist the pastor take a sabbatical for study and rest. During that period the church pays the pulpit supply and faithful staff/members cover the pastoral duties left vacant. He will return with a new vision and renewed strength, I guarantee.
- Since they are a reading congregation, they provide a book allowance for the pastor and members respond when he refers to something he has been reading. Blessed is the pastor of a literate congregation!
- They do not expect the ministers to all the pastoring. When people are sick, they respond with visits, ministry, food, whatever is needed. When the pastor visits the nursing homes, he often encounters church members there ministering also. He knows he is blessed.
- Freedom of the pulpit. The congregation gives the pastor the liberty to preach widely and express views many might find controversial. This is extremely rare, to be highly prized, but not to be abused.
- Many in the congregation are great witnesses and soulwinners. New people are regularly coming into the kingdom because of the faithful witness of church members. The pastor of such a congregation will know he has a congregation that is one in a hundred.
If you are the pastor of such a church, you know how rare your situation is. If you are a member of a church, you would do well to take this list and sit down with a few leaders to discuss ways to take better care of the Lord’s ministers.