Are you the kind of church member who makes your pastor’s ministry a joy? (Hebrews 13:17) Do you esteem in love the pastors that God has put over you? (1 Thessalonians 5:12-13) Do you honor those elders who “work hard at preaching and teaching?” (1 Timothy 5:17) At this moment, are you walking in the truth, and thus causing your pastor to rejoice? (3 John 4)
One simple way to please Christ (2 Corinthians 5:9), the head of the church (Colossians 1:18), is to strive to bring joy to those whom God appoints as shepherds of your flock. Consider, then, these four actions you might take in order to make your pastor rejoice and, ultimately, to please Christ:
1. Ask your pastor to come over to your home and discuss Sunday’s sermon. Every pastor, at some time or another, has found himself asking, “Are they listening? Are they getting it?” And what pastor hasn’t experienced yawners and sleepers during the preaching? I once saw a lady snoring and drooling right in front of me while I preached! I thought to myself, “Am I really this boring?”
Imagine the joy that will fill his heart when you say, “Pastor, my wife and I would really appreciate it if you would come over to our house one evening this week. We always appreciate your effort to preach the Bible, and we would like to spend some time talking more about what you preached, hear some of the information you had to leave out because of time constraints, and talk about how we can live it out in our home and community.”
2. Show up early to the church meetings and greet people as they arrive, and stick around afterwards for edifying conversation. This is not a competition to be the first to arrive, nor am I encouraging “pastor groupies.” The idea is to come early enough to welcome people, perhaps hold the door open for them, give them a welcoming handshake, ask them about their lives, and listen. Then, after the service, plan to stay and have a conversation with someone about something of eternal value. The truth as it was sung or preached might be the subject of a discussion. Ask the Lord for these opportunities.
Your church will have a lonely, defeated pastor if everybody shows up one minute before the meeting is to begin, and then leaves quickly after the service is over. Alternatively, a church full of zealous, selfless, eager members will spur on a pastor. He will appreciate greatly others who come alongside him to be co-workers for the benefit of others.
3. Organize a weekly prayer meeting in someone’s home. This, of course, is not in place of your church’s regular prayer meeting (if you have one), but in addition to it. Make prayer for the church a vital part of this time together. Pray for the members. Ask the Lord to bless the preaching. Pray for God to grant boldness in the witnessing efforts of the church. Cry out to the Lord for the salvation of the children.
Specifically, pray regarding those things that your pastor (or pastors) are teaching and seeking to implement. Word will get to him that you are praying about these things (and thus submitting to his leadership, which will bring him joy), and imagine the happiness that will fill your pastor’s soul when God begins to answer your prayers (which He is inclined to do—see Matthew 7:7-11).
4. Do the “little things” that nobody sees. Every pastor worthy of the office has found himself gladly changing the toilet paper rolls in the bathroom “for the good of the church.” No pastor should ever think he is above taking on that “roll.” However, there are so many “little things” that have to be done in the life of a church that, if too many of these responsibilities fall upon the pastor, he will actually struggle to fulfill his pastoral duties as defined in Scripture.
Most churches have one or two people who do much “behind the scenes” work. You may need to go to them and say, “How can I help?” You may also ask your pastor what projects you can take off of his “to do” list and put on yours. He will rejoice, and the Head of the church will be pleased.