Don't Waste Your Pastor
Until my recent adult life, I had never really had a pastor who knew me. I had had plenty of good pastors - godly men who preached the Lord’s Word. But as I began to date (and eventually marry) my husband, we received counseling from our current pastor and he became a good friend to us. Since then, this same man not only married us, but baptized our three children, offered us marriage counsel, visited us at the hospital when our kids were sick, came to our home when we needed to talk, and so much more.
The truth is, I often forget what asset we have in our pastor. Of course, all pastors have different gifts. Some are wonderful speakers, gentle shepherds, wise elders. I think no matter your church’s size, your pastor’s personality, or your stage of life, it is important to remember to “not waste your pastor.” Here are three ways to utilize your pastor well.
- Go to your pastor when you are struggling. Whether you are facing anxiety, depression, financial worries, sickness, marital issues, a big life decision - whatever - involve your pastor in your life. Sometimes I am tempted to think that mine is too busy or overwhelmed. The truth is, pastors love to hear from their flock. For many, I imagine it is the best part of their job! And here’s another kicker - don’t just wait for “big” struggles. Sometimes I find myself worried or burdened by something that really isn’t “that big of a deal.” I try to remember to seek my pastor’s help and involvement in life’s smaller struggles as well. They love to pray for us and to pray specifically.
- Come to your pastor with theological questions. Recently a friend shared a differing theological perspective on healing. I spent a few days mulling over her perspective before I emailed my pastor and said, "What do you think? Is this Biblical?" If we are confused by something we hear, see, read, etc., a pastor's insights are a invaluable.
- Come to your pastor for counseling. Many pastors are equipped to offer counseling for personal or marital issues. It's a good place to start! The plus is, you may be able to see your pastor regularly without a fee, as opposed to a counselor. I am a huge fan of Christian counselors, but seeing your pastor is sometimes a good "first step." (And if you're on the fence, take this post as your "writing in the sky" that YES you should see your pastor!!)
- Come to your pastors when you face big life decisions; one, because they can offer you godly counsel, and two, because they care about you and will pray for you.
And of course, pastors have an incredibly difficult job, and we should also take time to appreciate them! Here are a few suggestions.
- Let him know when his words have encouraged you. Galatians 6:6 says, "the one who receives instruction in the word must share all good things with his instructor." This verse reminds me to offer appreciation to my pastor for how his words have encouraged me.
- And of course, pray for your pastor and thank him for his work.
Are you wasting your pastor? Use him!
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