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FIRST-PERSON: Lift your pastor

ALPHARETTA, Ga. (BP) — Your pastor needs encouragement.

The North American Mission Board is encouraging you and your church leadership to pick a day this fall to lift your pastor through expressions of loving appreciation.

Why should you lift your pastor?

Just consider the greatest pastor who ever lived, the apostle Paul, who experienced a need for encouragement. In 2 Corinthians 7:5-6, Paul transparently shared, “For indeed, when we came to Macedonia, our bodies had no rest, but we were troubled on every side. Outside were conflicts, inside were fears. Nevertheless God, who comforts the downcast, comforted us by the coming of Titus” (NKJV).

If Paul needed encouragement, how much more does your pastor?

Notice that in the midst of Paul’s struggles with personal insecurities and ministry conflict, God comforted him through the encouragement of Titus. Through the Lift Pastor Appreciation emphasis of the North American Mission Board, you can extend to your pastor and his family a “Titus Touch” of encouragement. King Midas is popularly remembered in Greek mythology for his ability to turn everything he touched into gold. This became known as the “Golden Touch” or the “Midas Touch.” The Titus Touch is the golden touch of encouragement, which is given by a church through lifting their pastor in appreciation. Will you join God in His gracious work of “comforting” your pastor and his family? Will you lift your pastor and extend the Titus Touch to him?

The struggles of pastoral ministry are real.

They have been documented anew in a recent study LifeWay Research completed in partnership with the North American Mission Board (NAMB). The study surveyed 1,500 pastors. Among the results: 84 percent of pastors report they are on call 24 hours a day; 80 percent of pastors expect conflict in their church; 54 percent find the role of pastor frequently overwhelming; 53 percent often are concerned about their family’s financial security; 48 percent often feel the demands of ministry are more than they can handle; and 21 percent say their church has unrealistic expectations of them.

In the course of 25 years serving as pastor for churches of a variety of sizes and settings, there have been special times when church leaders have taken five minutes of a worship gathering to recognize our family, which brought great encouragement to me.

One year the chairman of the personnel committee asked our family to join him before the congregation and acknowledged the love of the church for our family and appreciation for my leadership as a pastor. The church gave us a gift card to enjoy a much-needed time of rest. This simple act brought such affirmation and encouragement not only to me but also to my entire family.

When a pastor is lifted up, the entire church is lifted with encouragement.

Students of the Great Awakenings have discovered that one common factor to every move of God among His people is bold and courageous preaching. Such preaching comes only from pastors who are prayed for and encouraged. Could it be by simple acts of lifting your pastor and his family that God may begin the next Great Awakening in your church and community?

Resources and prayerful suggestions to make Lift Pastor Appreciation special for you and your pastor can be found at sendnetwork.com/pastors-appreciation.

If you lift your pastor, NAMB may lift your church with the gift of a Shane and Shane concert. To enter a contest to host a concert, simply share how you lift your pastor and encourage others to do the same. Post photos on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook with the hashtag #LiftMyPastor showing how you lift your pastor with one of NAMB’s resources. Posts should include details of why and how the church body chose to lift their pastor. Each social media post that uses the hashtag #LiftMyPastor will be entered for the chance to bring Shane and Shane to their church for a worship night. Visit facebook.com/NAMB.SBC for details and more about entering your church’s example of pastor appreciation.

    About the Author

  • Michael Lewis

    Michael Lewis (@pastor4pastors) serves as the North American Mission Board’s executive director of pastoral care and development.

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