6 Ways to Encourage Your Pastor When He’s Preaching

Other Guys

I know I’m not the only blogger in the world. As a matter of fact, there are a lot of great blogs out there, some of which I read on a regular basis – and others I avoid.

Two very popular blogs in Christian circles are those of Thom S. Rainer and Chuck Lawless. Both are famous for lists like Eight Characteristics of the New Bivocational Pastor” and “Things I’ve Learned about Corporate Worship.”

This Guy

Well, I’m not the “other guys.” My blog is not as professional; I’m not a seminary professor or a contributor to denominational publications; and I don’t do enough research to come up with new lists every day.

However, this guy is in “list” mode, today! Fresh from a weekend of preaching, this pastor/preacher/blogger is going to hit you with a list from which ALL of us can benefit. Are you ready?

6 Ways You Can Encourage Your Pastor When He’s Preaching

  1. Feedback. Don’t just sit there like a knot on a log when your pastor is preaching; give him some feedback! Say, “Amen!” Wave your hand. Throw a hymnal at the pulpit. DO SOMETHING! How is he supposed to know he’s getting through to you if you just sit there silently with a blank look on your face? At least nod your head in agreement once in a while.
  2. Sit closer to the front. Look, if you were going to a concert where someone was singing that you wanted to hear, where would you sit – if you could afford it? The front row! What does it convey to the minister when you sit all the way in the back? Especially when you’ve already admitted you’re hard of hearing?
  3. Actually show up to church! Let me tell you, it really does encourage a pastor to have his congregation actually show up on Sunday morning. Sunday evening is even better!
  4. Get Your Sleep – At Home. Please, make sure that you go to bed on Saturday night at least by midnight. When a pastor sees you nodding off all he can think is, “I’m boring the snot out of that person,” and that is NOT encouraging.
  5. Pray. Try not to do it with your eyes closed (see the previous point), but pray for your pastor when he’s preaching. Let him know beforehand and afterward that you lift him up before God while he’s slugging away from the pulpit. Courage builds when one knows someone’s got his back.
  6. Put a $100 bill in his hand when you shake it. OK, that’s a stretch, I know. But hey, I won’t stop you if you feel the urge 😉

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OH! Do you know what would REALLY be encouraging? Leave a comment below! What would you add to this list?

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24 Comments

Filed under blogging, Preaching

24 responses to “6 Ways to Encourage Your Pastor When He’s Preaching

  1. Without getting into a theological discussion there are traditions in the faith where women are behind the pulpit each Sunday. They have it much harder because of not only sexism but also many who’s traditions would not accept them as pastors/leaders. One of the best pastors I ever had was a woman and in my current church (an Episcopal Church) we have a Priest Associate who is a woman.

    I would say the most encouraging thing you can do is to offer your pastor a safe space to vent and let their hair down so they are good for the long haul.

  2. Feedback during the sermon is good. Also, tell him personally that you appreciate his messages, you appreciate him, and tell him that you pray for him regularly (and be sure you do that). Don’t just assume he knows it because you showed up. In person especially, but email or Facebook are good places to express your appreciation.

  3. Great post. I have been preaching/teaching for over forty years. I agree people today are looking for transparency. When I show vulnerability in the pulpit I always receive positive affirmation. People know we are not perfect but like us to admit it once in a while. Secondly, if you are diligent in sermon preparation and developing your communication skills, people will recognize it and thank you!

    • I try to be as transparent as possible. God calls human shepherds, not robots. As Paul said, we are men of like passions… Still, when one should let his hair down (if he has any) should be done with great discretion.

  4. Jason Sneed

    I can say that several of these are true evening during the music portion of the service! A lot of people come with their arms crosses just daring someone to try to “bless” them.

  5. I would add:

    Follow along in your Bible. Easy to see who is listening when the pages are turning.

    Take notes. Shows you are for sure listening, and plan on studying it. Also keeps the preacher honest when he know he will be fact checked LOL.

  6. My strategies: 1. Taking notes (also helps my distractible mine from wandering) 2. (are you ready??) I have my hot tea in a tumbler–I’m there early for a couple of things before the pastor even gets up to preach, and sitting for an hour gets a little challenging, even thought Pastor L is a good speaker! 3) Eye contact and verbal agreement, and body language is huge. 4) Ask your pastor to verbal to you personally what his main vision/goals are for the church and surrounding community 5) help organize/fund a pastor’s retreat (including other churches in the area) 6)and what about the spouses?? They can have a real hard time also, because who can they really open up to about their personal struggles without causing “problems”?? I’m thinking ministry spouses is a “ministry” all its own!!

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