I love it when people ask me, “How can I best support my pastor?” I love this question because caring for pastors and their spouses is the heartbeat of Soul Shepherding.
My answer will surprise you: When you listen to the pastor’s message don’t critique it. Instead, ask yourself, “What is God saying to me?” “What did I learn?” “Who was I able to bless today?”
Most of us put unrealistic expectations on our pastors. We want to be inspired, fed from the Bible, and drawn into an experience of God’s presence. And we want it to happen for us in an hour! Pastors feel the weight of people’s expectations and it’s a heavy burden to carry.
Don’t be a “consumer Christian”! Attend church services as a disciple of Jesus. During church services offer short prayers for your pastors and those who lead worship. Better yet, arrive early and start praying before the service starts! Pray that God would reveal himself through the service leaders to you and to the whole congregation, inspiring your worship and learning.
In other words, “Carry each others’ burdens and in this way you fulfill the law of Christ… Each one should test their own actions… For each one should carry their own load” (Galatians 6:2, 4-5).
Every church service that worships Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior and teaches from the Bible can be profitable for your life. The Spirit of Christ is present in the service to teach you and encourage you. Listen. Open your heart to God and the people around you. Expect your Lord to offer you and the gathered community the love, guidance, and power that you need for daily life.
Then as soon as the church service is over tell a friend what you sense God is saying to you. Don’t get focused on the questions everybody asks, “Was the sermon good?” “Did you like the worship?” Don’t evaluate the pastor’s performance, evaluate your performance. What did I learn in church today? How did I do with worshiping the Lord?
Give thanks to God for your pastor and learn from him or her how you can become more like Jesus. Now and again drop a note of encouragement to bless your pastor.
If we all took a positive attitude into our local church services and participated as eager disciples of Jesus it’d start a revival in our cities!