Saturday, April 6, 2013

Ask the Pastor: How can I support my Pastor?

I was recently speaking with a young man who I worked with while he was a teen and I was a youth leader. He asked me a simple but loaded question. "How can I support my pastor?" His church is wrestling through some of the same issues that many churches struggle through, including the challenge of generational continuity between the older and younger generations in the church. While I don't have the comprehensive answer to that question, I thought it definitely merited some thought.

  1.  Always remember your responsibility to your pastor (Heb. 13:17). Your pastor, if he is a man of God who takes his calling seriously, lives daily with the burden that he will answer to God. Nothing you can say or do will carry a stronger burden. Participate in the flock in a way that will cause your pastor to give an account before God without groaning.  
  2. Look at the big picture vision, don't get bogged down in the week to week. It is so easy for us to get caught up in one issue or area of the church. Maybe the music struggles or the church is small. Maybe the children's ministry leaves something to be desired, or the church isn't quite the place you thought you would spend your adult years worshipping in. Could I challenge you to look at the big picture. Don't ask "does everything in this church line up with what I'm looking for?" Rather ask, "is this church going in the same direction I'm going?" Look at the pastor's heart and the long-term process. Too many people are bailing on good churches that just aren't great. We need more families willing to take a view at the long-term  
  3. Come to church looking to minister, not be ministered to. Of course, everyone needs to be fed and recharged on Sundays, but we have to ask the question, "is corporate worship meant to be a passive or active process?" Don't come to church for the programs, the classes, the ministries, etc. In other words, don't come with a "what can I get out of this" mentality. Instead, prepare your heart to worship and minister to others. 
  4. Walk with Christ! Confess sin, be in the Word, commune with the Lord in prayer and develop a heart to serve.  Your pastor loves you and cares for your soul. He spends time praying for you and thinking about you. He labors in the Word to make sure that what he feeds you on Sundays is the Word of God. He intercedes on your behalf, and hurts when you hurt. Lift him up before the throne. Walk with him, communicate with him, and follow him as he follows the Lord.

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