A hardworking, caring, very competent pastor with an unfailing positive attitude – someone I know personally – recently messaged me. She had been diagnosed with pneumonia. However, to her surprise, not one of her church members checked in with her!
“How can I have been so sick and reporting the doctor's reports to my congregation and then no one reaches out to care for me during my time of need? Wow...”
We talk all the time about pastors taking care of themselves and, of course, about the pastor’s care for the congregation, but what about the congregation caring for their pastor?
Does the relationship between pastor and congregation entail mutual understanding and support?
Educating the Congregation
What would it take for today's pastors to have the relationship Paul enjoyed with the Galatian congregation, to whom he said (in apparent reference to his personal physical affliction), “For I bear you witness that, if possible, you would have plucked out your eyes and given them to me”? (Galatians 4:15b NASB)
A brief on-line search for congregational education materials to help congregations know best how to support their pastors did not reveal any significant findings! (If you are aware of some, please let me know.)
Perhaps congregations have unrealistic expectations for their pastor. Do they really understand the work of the pastor or what their role should be in supporting their pastor?
What do you think? In your experience, do congregations support their pastor(s) appropriately? If not, what would the underlying reasons be?
I hope to write an article at some point in the future entitled “Ten things pastors wish their congregations knew”. But I need your help!
If you were to share one piece of knowledge or advice with congregational members everywhere about best supporting their pastor, what would it be?
Please comment below (or you can email me here).
What do you wish your congregation knew about the work and life of a pastor?