Love Your Pastor Well: How Sheep Care for Their Shepherds, Part 2
The goal of this article is to encourage congregants to prioritize the gathering of God’s people on Sunday mornings – or whenever you meet with your church throughout the week. This encourages your pastor(s) and it does their hearts much good (and yours) to make the weekly gathering a priority.
The gathering of the saints is a command in Scripture and should be taken seriously (Hebrews 13:17). Without the prioritizing of corporate worship and the public exposition of Scripture, much is lost in the Christian life when it comes to community, growth in grace, and being convicted and challenged in the Christian life.
Prioritize gathering with the body. Your pastors are preparing their sermons with the church body in mind. When members of the local church recognize their personal need for the preached Word and consider their weekly attendance a non-negotiable, the result will be spiritual growth in the believer’s life.
This concept of “being present” also plays into our mental state at church. How distracted are our minds during the sermon? Do we make a conscious effort to pay attention and understand what is being said? Often, I find myself praying before and during a sermon for God to open my heart and mind to the words my pastor has poured over all week. It’s not always easy, but it is doable.
This kind of “presence” not only feeds spiritual growth, but pastors’ hearts are deeply encouraged when people demonstrate consistency and a desire to learn and grow.
Love your pastor well by being present and gleaning as much as you can from the sermon.
Think About It
You can care for your pastor by dwelling on the material being taught in Sunday school and the preaching. Don’t throw it away the moment you leave the building. Take notes and meditate on the material throughout the week.
My pastor worded this concept well. “The sermons won’t serve us well if the material merely grazes our minds. Our minds need to absorb, and absorbing takes time.”
After taking notes and listening to the sermon on Sunday, I find that it really helps my heart and mind if I review my sermon notes about mid-way through the week. These truths often hit much deeper as I’m in the middle of “life” and not in the “Sunday” zone.
Nothing will delight the hearts of pastors more than for you to call them in the middle of the week with a question on something they said during a previous Sunday.
This really is loving your pastor through osmosis – it’s a symbiotic relationship – where both parties benefit. As he feeds his people with God’s Word, his people respond with symptoms of spiritual growth which greatly delight his heart.
Does it really matter? Does it matter that pastors feel loved and appreciated by their congregation? Absolutely it matters. Your pastor carries many, many weights you do not know about – not the least of which is to bring the words of a Living God to you in faithfulness each Sunday.
A genuine and true love for Christ manifests itself as a deep love for God’s People… and God’s Under-Shepherds. God has sovereignly given us pastors as a gift that - if they faithfully and truthfully preach God’s Word - you should be deeply thankful for and seek to show love to them and their families.
For more on this topic, click here to read Part One in this series.
Brittany Proffitt lives in Dallas and is a writer and content manager for So We Speak.