10 Surefire Ways to Encourage Your Pastor

Having enjoyed all 10 of these in my own 40 years of preaching, I can assure you, they really are ‘encouraging’!

The lofty expectations and burdensome demands upon the pastor of a local church can be overwhelming at times. Here are ten easy things you can do this Sunday to encourage your pastor and let him know that you care.

  1. Ask him what book of the Bible the church has been studying for the last three years. Pastors love it when you have no clue that he’s been faithfully preaching through the gospels for years even though you’ve been to almost every service. So make sure to ask him every Sunday, “What book are we in today?”
  2. Quietly change churches without letting anyone know. Hey, we get it. You’re not feeling fed. No problem. Pastors totally don’t take it personally when you move your membership to a different church with no notice or really any reason at all. Their demeanor might even be buoyed by your boldness.
  3. Call his sermon a “speech.” This is a really easy way to encourage your pastor, and it won’t take much effort on your part. Just a quick, “Great speech, brother” can lift a pastor’s spirits in no time.
  4. Make sure he knows you would be volunteering more if literally everything else weren’t more important to you. Every time you decline to serve the church in even the smallest way, tell the pastor that literally everything else is more important. Soccer games, the latest Nicholas Sparks movie, laundry day, or even just general apathy—a man of God loves hearing that all these things and more always take precedence over the body of Christ.
  5. Drop the F-bomb. A pastor who’s been trying to disciple you for a decade will surely be delighted to hear you drop the incidental F-bomb. If you’re not ready for this big of a step, any of the more common profanities will do.
  6. Write him an anonymous critical letter. There’s nothing more encouraging to a pastor who’s battling personal demons and fending off thoughts of depression and anxiety than a scathing rebuke you won’t even sign your name to.
  7. Make sure he knows he’s not John Piper. Oftentimes, pastors aren’t aware that they aren’t as good of a preacher as John Piper. They might even think they are John Piper himself. It’s really helpful to your pastor if you use phrases like, “You’re no John Piper, but that was still a pretty good speech” for double the encouragement.
  8. Belittle his wife. This almost goes without saying, but making sure the pastor is painfully aware of his wife’s failures and imperfections will help his own confidence levels immensely. Bonus encouragement points if you do it behind his back, but just loud enough for him to hear. Talk about strengthening a brother!
  9. Conk out in the front row. Pastors never feel more like a shepherd than when their flock is resting peacefully, especially when he’s right in the middle of an impassioned plea for attendees to repent and believe the gospel. Make sure to snore loudly to encourage those around you as well.
  10. Just tell him he’s worthless. If all else fails, just bluntly telling your pastor he doesn’t mean anything to you and his years of study and faithful service don’t matter in the slightest will surely see his faith in God skyrocket.