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Words Of Encouragement To A Pastor

I am so proud of you, Pastor! You’re doing such a great job serving our church and helping others.

I know that sometimes it’s hard to stay motivated when you’re working so hard, but I just wanted to say that I think you’ve got what it takes to make it through.

Just remember: you can’t do this alone. Your congregation needs your guidance and support just as much as you need theirs. Keep praying for them and keep giving them love!

12 Words of Encouragement for Pastors

Heralding the gloriously good news of the gospel is worth it. “You’ve helped deepen my love of Scripture.” We’re not in the pulpit to pontificate on our ideas, but to proclaim Christ and Him crucified. “I love you.” Three simple words that make everything we do worth it.

12 Words of Encouragement for Pastors

love pastors. Each week, through this blog and my personal ministry, God allows me to partner with dozens of pastors, helping them think through life and ministry issues. I’ve learned that many pastors struggle to find people who will invest in them and help them grow as individuals, leaders and pastors.

Recently I had a pastor ask me for my “best advice” for other pastors. Wow! That’s hard to say. I’ve learned so much through the pastors who have invested in me and by experience. It’s hard to summarize all that I’ve learned. It could probably fill a book or two…but at least more than one blog post!

I put some thought into the question and decided to come up with a list of encouragement, one that I would give to all pastors, to answer his question. I’m sure there’s more (and you can help by adding yours), but this post is at least a start. Of course, wisdom is transferable to other fields, so change a few words around and I’d give this advice to any leader…some of them perhaps to any person.

Here are 12 words of encouragement for pastors:

Choose your friends wisely… but choose friends. Don’t attempt to lead alone. Too many pastors avoid close friendships because they’ve been hurt. They trusted someone with information who used it against them. Finding friends you can trust and be real with means you’ll sometimes get injured, but the reward is worth it.

The church can never love your family as much as you do.  Your family needs you more than the church does. They can get another pastor. Your family doesn’t want another you. You’ll have to learn to say “no,” learn how to balance and prioritize your time, and be willing to delegate to others in the church….

If you protect your Sabbath day, your Sabbath day can better protect you. You’ll wear out quickly without a day a week to rejuvenate. God designed us this way. Take advantage of His provision. Take time to rest. You may not rest like everyone else… for me rest doesn’t mean doing nothing… but you need time away from the demands of ministry regularly. Lead your church to understand you can’t be everywhere every time. You owe it to yourself, your family, your church and your God.

You have influence… use it well. The pastorate comes with tremendous power and responsibility. It’s easy to abuse or take for granted. Don’t. Humility welcomes the hand of God on your ministry.

No amount of accountability or structure will keep you from temptation if you’re heart is impure. Above all else, guard your heart. (Proverbs 4:23) Avoid any hint of temptation. Look for the warning signs your heart is drifting. Keep your heart saturated with God’s Word and in prayer.

Let God lead. You can do some things well. God can do the impossible. Whom do you think should ultimately be leading the church? You’ll be surprised how much more effective your leadership will be when it’s according to His will and not yours.

If you can dream it, God can dream it bigger. Don’t dismiss the seemingly ridiculous things God calls you to do. They won’t always make sense to others or meet their immediate approval, but God’s ways will prove best every time.

Keep Jesus the center of focus in the church. You’ll never have a money problem, a people problem, or a growth problem if people are one with Jesus.

Your personal health affects the health of the church. Take care of yourself relationally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. This, too, requires discipline, balance, and prioritizing, but if, to the best of your ability, you strive to be healthy in every area of your life, as a good shepherd, your people will be more likely to follow your example.

The people in your church deserve authenticity. Not only will be honest about who you are help keep you from trying to meet unreal expectations, but it will help the people in your church be transparent with you and others. Don’t be someone you’re not. Be someone worthy to follow, but make sure you’re living it… not just teaching it.

You’ll never make everyone happy. If you try, you’ll be very unhappy… and very unproductive.

Your calling is to a person… Jesus. That means you are working for Jesus. You ultimately report to Jesus. It is the pleasure of Jesus you are seeking. There will be days your calling is challenged by others. You’ll be tempted to cave in to the pressure of those with the loudest voices. Don’t forget who holds the title to your life.

Other encouraging things to say to your pastor

1. I’m praying for you. This was overwhelmingly the consensus for the number one encouragement for any preacher.  But don’t say it if you’re not doing it!
2. I love you. And likewise, this was strong. Every minister should know they are loved.
3. Hebrews 6:10, my all time favorite scripture for a faithful servant of the Lord. “God is not unjust so as to forget your work and the love that you have shown to His name in having ministered to the saints and in still ministering.” It’s one thing to say “I remember,” but another entirely to say that “God remembers.”  Great promise.
4. We are taking I Timothy 5:17 to heart, Pastor, and starting immediately we are doubling your pay.  Ha. In your dreams.

5. Thank you. With a smile, a handshake or a hug.
6. Thank you for that sermon. (If you can, specify the effect the message had.)
7. Thank you for the positive impact you are having in our community.
8. We are aware of the sacrifices you make to serve us. Thank you. We love and appreciate you.
9. Thanks for your dedication to the senior adults. (Okay, clearly we could make a separate point of each variety of ‘ thank you,’ so we’ll let this one suffice.)
10.Pastor, why don’t you go home to your family and I’ll clean up here. I’ll check the lights, set the a/c, and make sure the toilets are okay. (I suppose this would cover small churches where pastors are expected to do it all.)
11. Pastor, here is a nice gift card to your favorite restaurant. Take the family out to dinner, and remember that you are loved. (Make sure it’s enough to cover the meal and a tip.)
12. Many point out that the greatest encouragement to a pastor is to be faithful in attendance, generous in giving, loving and kind to one another, active in serving.
13. Pastor, I’ve been studying the Scripture for your sermon today.  The church member would have to know the text in advance, but many pastors preach series from one book, so it’s not difficult.
14. I’ve learned so much in this sermon series.  (If possible,  tell the pastor what you learned or will never forget.)
15. I love your children!  Anything specific? He would love to hear it.
16. You gave great leadership on that fundraising project! Or whatever the project.
17. “I’ve got your back!”  Be ready to explain what this means, and to follow through.
18. May I pray with you right now?  (But don’t pray a lengthy prayer.)
19. If I ever have something important to say to you, I’ll tell you to your face. I’ll never say it behind your back. Hmmm.  Okay.
20. We would love to have you and your family over for a meal and fellowship. This would be welcome in some situations, but not in others. Important to know your pastor and family and to be aware of what would be appreciated. .
21. Pastor, here’s a box of chocolates and a couple million dollars.  (Try that on me, and I’ll let you know how it goes.)
22. Or, (the person suggesting #21 added:) if you don’t have a couple million dollars: A couple bushels of purple hull peas and some butter beans! And tomatoes and squash.
23. Introducing the pastor to a friend with the words, “This is my Pastor!” (And smile when you say it.)  I always loved that.
24. I’m a better Christian because of you. (One told me last week, “I grew more during your years here than at any other time in my life.”)
25. I love it every time you preach that sermon!  Implying he has preached it several times. (I tell people, “No, I’ve preached that text before, but not this sermon.”)
26. Stop by when you can. I’ve baked your favorite cake. (Better yet, here it is!)
27. Pastor, I heard that Sister McDonough is sick. Would you like me to visit her?
28. Pastor, I love your funerals. (Ask any preacher; we get that occasionally. We know what they mean and we actually love hearing it. The hope of eternal life is a big deal.)
29. Pastor, take this Sunday off with pay. Chuck, your trusted fill-in, will preach for us. Oh, and here’s a week’s paid lodging at your favorite hotel on the beach. Your wife is packing at this moment.
30. You’re my favorite pastor, ever. (But, as a senior lady said to me, “I have always loved all my pastors!” I gave her a hug and affirmed her for that.)

31. Pastor, we trust you.
32. Wanna go fishing? Hunting? Golfing? (Personally, I don’t, but thank you for the thought.)
33. I cannot wait for your next sermon!  Good one.
34. Your sermon on forgiveness was exactly what I needed. I’ve gone to my brother-in-law and asked his forgiveness. We’re going fishing together next Sunday so I’ll have to miss church this once.
35. Thank you for standing by my family in the death of (loved one).
36. Give the pastor a roast. A dinner for his anniversary, with several special guests, each of whom has 5 minutes to roast him. This works only if your pastor has a wonderful sense of humor and friends who know how to tease without being mean. (I’ve participated in these and they can be unforgettable–in a good way.)
37. A note of appreciation, telling the pastor something specific he did for you or your family in the past. Yes, write him a note! (Remember hand-written notes?)
38. The business meetings have been so much more harmonious since you came.
39. Let me buy you some new tires for your car. If money is tight for the pastor, this would be a great thing to do.
40. If the pastor needs a new suit, arrange with a men’s clothing store in the area (a good one!) for him to come in and choose it, but he’s to never know that it came from you. (I’ve been on both the receiving and giving ends of this, and it’s a wonderful way to bless a preacher.)
41. We have a timeshare and want you and your family to use it. In the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania. (We did!)
42. I want to replace your broken windshield. Or wash your car.  Or change your oil.
43. The deacons want to take turns visiting the members and shut-ins with you.
44. Pastor, I have given the church treasurer $1,000 for you to use for benevolence, to help anyone you please. You do not have to account to anyone for it. (The man who did that also left me $10,000 in his will for the same purpose. I gave it all to the Mission Board for their ministry to refugees pouring into Thailand.)
45. Here’s a hundred dollars. Take your wife out. (Or, better yet, just shake his hand, palming the C-note to him without a word.  He’ll find plenty of good uses for it.)
46. God spoke to me through you this morning.

47. Pastor, that sermon was exactly what I needed to hear today.

48. I’m bringing a friend with me to church Sunday.

49. Last one: Next time the pastor becomes the subject of conversation in a committee  or business meeting, quickly stand to your feet and voice strong  support of him


Pastors have a rewarding calling. They do what they love in leading others to Christ.

Most people think that the lives of pastors are perfect. But being a leader in the community and church isn’t always easy.

A pastor leads a busy life and sometimes a few words of encouragement can go a long way.  If you want to give your pastor words of encouragement, consider one from our list.

It could be as simple as saying “thank you”, or you could put words to action and ask your pastor how you can help.  Whichever method you prefer, choose your words wisely and speak from the this ad

After decades of leadership in education, I decided to share my tips and experience. Join me in creating stronger families in faith

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