In 16 years as a pastor, I learned two things well.
First, Sunday mornings are a stressful time for pastors.
Second, most people who attend church love their church – and love their pastor.
Combining those two, I want to help any way I can to make the Sunday morning experience the best it can be for my pastor friends and the church. I used to get asked frequently, “Pastor, is there anything you need me to do for you?” “Or how can I best support you?” I love those questions. I knew they always came from a sincere heart.
That’s the purpose of this post. Here are some easy ways you can help your pastor this Sunday morning.
I should note. I have been in churches which, for the most part, did each of these well.
Here are 7 ways you can help your pastor this Sunday:
Pray for your pastor. It may sound trite or too simple, but it really is the greater work. I was in a church recently that had a whole room of people praying for the pastor during the service. What a blessing!
Ask God to open the ears of the people, to guide your pastor’s heart and to bless the services with His Spirit. As your pastor is preaching, pray for the pastor’s mind to remain focussed and sensitive to the Spirit’s leading. I’ve been preaching, lose track of my thoughts – probably obvious, and literally felt God’s presence guide my thoughts back on track. God answers the prayers of His people.
There may be plenty to critique, but Sunday morning is usually not the best time to bring complaints. You might be surprised how often this happens to pastors. (And, it’s probably not Sunday afternoon either.) It is very distracting when the pastor is about to speak to hear criticism, which will have to be dealt with later. It weighs very heavy on the mind and gets in the way of focusing on the message.
Hold those until Monday, but even then, ask yourself if sharing it is personal to you or genuinely helpful to the entire body. Is it for your comfort or a greater Kingdom good?
Don’t share something you want the pastor to remember past today
This is huge. Most likely the pastor will forget what you told them by the time Sunday is done. Send us an email later or call us Monday morning.
(And, this won’t apply to every church, but if it’s a larger church, the pastor may not even be the best person to share it with. It was amazing how many people would tell me about a coffee spill near a Bible study room on the other side of the building – as I was about to preach. And, there may have been several other pastors standing in the hallway near me. In all honesty, with things like this, I wanted to say, “Would you mind cleaning it up?”)
If it must be shared on Sunday, please write it down so the details can be remembered. The mind of the pastor is so clouded on Sunday – thinking about a million different things. The pastor tries hard to keep focus on a message they hope God will use.
Think of others interests even ahead of your own. (That’s actual Biblical.) Keep in mind the temperature in the room may not be your ideal temperature, but it may be exactly the right temperature for someone else. Your song may not be sung today, but it could be the song which leads another to the throne of grace. The message may not address what you’re dealing with right now, but for someone else, it might be life-changing.
Be a part of the crowd that says, “I love what helps another person grow closer to Christ” and you’ll help your pastor and the church greatly on Sunday mornings.
Find a place to serve
The work of the church can’t function with only a few people. And, that’s not Biblical. I’ve never met the church, which had too many people volunteering in preschool ministry, too many greeters, or too many people serving in the parking lot. And, every pastor loves people willing to do whatever it takes to make a Sunday work.
Introduce us to visitors
Introduce visitors to the pastor or someone on staff. Most pastors love to meet visitors, especially after the service. And, as much as we may love meeting your cousins from out of town, this is especially true of visitors who are seeking a church home. We know that one connection may make the difference for them. Even more, the pastor know when the church is bringing people with them or meeting new visitors as they arrive, the church is being the church. It’s encouraging.
It really does begin and end with prayer. More than anything, we want your prayer support. And, the battle is real on Sundays. The enemy reminds us of our frailties, our sins, and causes us to question the message we have prepared. The Spirit of God seems to respond when people pray. It’s amazing how I could always feel the presence of other people’s prayers on Sunday – more, it seemed, than on any other day.
Pastor, how else can people help you on Sunday?