From an old email I received:
How to treat your Pastor:
“Fling him into his office, then tear the “Office” sign from the door, and replace it with a sign that says, “Study.” Take him off the mailing list. Lock him up with his books and his typewriter and his Bible. Slam him down on his knees before texts and broken hearts and the flick of lives of a superficial flock and a holy God. Force him to be the one man in the community who knows about God. Throw him into the ring to box with God until he learns how short his arms are. Engage him to wrestle with God all the night through, and let him come out only when he’s bruised and beaten into being a blessing. Shut his mouth from forever spouting remarks and stop his tongue from forever tripping lightly over every non-essential. Require him to have something to say before he breaks the silence. Burn his eyes with weary study. Wreck his emotional poise with worry for the things of God. Make him exchange his pious stance for a humble walk with God and man. Make him spend and be spent for the glory of God. Rip out his telephone. Burn up his success sheets. Put water in his gas tank. Give him a Bible and tie him to the pulpit. Test him, quiz him, examine him. Humiliate him for his ignorance of things divine. Shame him for his good comprehension of finance, batting averages and political party issues. Laugh at his frustrated effort to play psychiatrist. Form a choir, raise a chant and haunt him night and day with, “Sir, we would know God.” When at long last he does assay the pulpit, ask him if he has a word from God. If he doesn’t, then dismiss him. Tell him you can read the paper. You can digest the television commentary. You can think through the day’s superficial problems and manage the weary drives of the community and bless the assorted baked potatoes and green beans better than he can. And when he does speak God’s Word, listen. And when he’s burned out finally by the flaming Word, consumed by the fiery grace blazing through him, and when he’s privileged to translate the truth of God to man and finally is himself transferred from earth to heaven, bear him away gently. Blow a muted trumpet. Lay him down softly and place a two-edged sword on his coffin and raise the tune triumphant, for ere he died he had become a Man of God. ”
- Treat a pastor with respect. A pastor puts in long hours to serve her congregation with minimal financial reward for her time. Respect a pastor for being the professional that she is, and treat her as respectfully as you would treat any other professional in any other profession.
- Respect a pastor’s privacy. Some churches provide a parsonage for the pastor and his family to live in. Just because the church owns the parsonage does not give the congregation unlimited access to a pastor’s home. Respect the fact that a pastor and his family need just as much privacy as any other family.
- Remember that a pastor is human, too. Some people hold the pastor and her family to a higher standard, treating the family as if they are living in a fishbowl. Do not gossip about a pastor and her family when they go through a rough time. Instead, provide them with the same compassion that you would expect to receive from a pastor if you were going through the same situation.
- Say thank you. If a pastor’s sermon spoke to you, then tell him so. Send him an email saying how much the sermon spoke to you. Write him a letter or drop by the church and let him know how much you appreciate all that he does for your congregation.
- Celebrate Pastor Appreciation Month. October is Pastor Appreciation Month. Do something nice for your pastor during the month of October to thank her for all of her hard work. Write her a personal thank you note that specifically tells her what she has done well. Give her a small token of your appreciation through a gift or gift certificate in honor of Pastor Appreciation Month.
- Remember your pastor at Christmas and at other times during the year. Send your pastor a card and/or buy him a modest gift or gift card to a local restaurant.
- Say goodbye. Some churches rotate their pastors, so be sure to say goodbye when a pastor rotates out of your church. Encourage your church to hold some kind of ceremony so the congregation can say goodbye and collect a love offering to send with a pastor as she transitions to a new church.
- A Notice From Your Pastor (barefootpreachr.org)
- Grounds for Restoration (barefootpreachr.org)
- Eugene Peterson: Letter to a Young Pastor (barefootpreachr.org)
- Pastoral statistics (eardstapa.wordpress.com)
- Wanted: The Perfect Congregation (barefootpreachr.org)