Date: October 30, 2022

Bible Text: Acts 11:19-26 |

As you prepare for a new pastor, again I wish to compare this to marriage. In this case, a remarriage. Do you have something in your past that may interfere with this new relationship? Let me point out the growth off Christianity after Christ's ascension. These men were preaching to the children of Israel. It was not until Peter has the vision of the unclean and was sent to preach to the "unclean" that the church reached outside of the Israelites. Can you imagine what might have become of us, if they had not moved beyond their past experience. If the new testament church had gotten stuck in the past we might never have heard the word of salvation. As we bring in our new pastor, accept him ruthlessly, without pause. We must not compare the new pastor to the last one. If you have second thoughts after you call him to your church, DO NOT ALLOW DOUBTS. You made your choice - remain committed. Can you imagine if you had said to your spouse after marriage, "I am not so sure I made the right choice with you." This would not build a healthy relationship. Our job is to be our best self, our best Christian self.

The following was part of the sermon, given as advice for us, the congregation to uplift and support our pastor:

Ten Things Pastors Would Love to hear from their congregation. Pastors were asked, "What do you hear from your church members that gives you the greatest encouragement?"

The responses from the pastors were amazingly similar. In fact, I was able to focus on ten specific areas. Here are summary statements of those areas.

  1. “I pray for you every day.” This statement was the most frequent. Read it carefully. It’s not just prayer; it’s daily prayer. The pastor understands ministry is spiritual warfare. The pastor understands prayer is one of the greatest weapons in the warfare.
  2. “I want to help your family any way I can.” Most pastors are stressed and stretched. So are their families. When a church member offers to support and help the family, the pastor feels like shouting for joy.
  3. “I want you to know specifically how God spoke to me through your sermon.” The key word here is “specifically.” It’s not a lot of encouragement if a church member says perfunctorily “good sermon.” Let the pastor know the specific meaning and application to you from the sermon.
  4. “I am ready and willing to take on that ministry task.” Pastors take great joy when a church member understands that ministry is to be done by the members, that the pastor is not the hired hand to do it all.
  5. “I see my role as an encourager.” Pastors need numbers of people who will take on the Barnabas role. The critics will always be there.
  6. “I see my role as one who will confront the bullies and the perpetual critics in the church.” I have heard from countless pastors that it’s not the critics who bother them as much as the “friends” who will not speak up and to the critics and church bullies.
  7. “I will make certain your family has an adequate income.” One of the great stressors on pastors is financial worry. It is such a relief and joy when a church member takes the role of financial advocate for the pastor.
  8. “I am available to babysit your kids.” Pastors with young kids relish a husband-wife date night. Many of them are unable to go out because they can’t find or afford babysitters.
  9. “I will be in church with no excuses unless providentially hindered.” Pastors hear plenty of excuses. It is a refreshing change for them to hear from a no-excuse church member.
  10. “I will never compare you to a previous pastor.” Yep, pastors cringe when they hear, “Pastor Bill used to do it this way.” Let your pastors know they have their own identity, and that previous pastors are not a scorecard against which they are measured.