TOP 10 WAYS TO ENCOURAGE YOUR PREACHER

A month ago I posted a list called “Top 10 Ways to get your Preacher to Quit.” It may have been my most popular post. I thought I’d follow up on that list with today’s Top 10 list on how to encourage you preacher.

  1. Pray for him regularly. This may be the greatest thing you can do for him. Include him in your daily prayers, and then, tell him you’re praying for him. You might even ask him occasionally, “Is there anything I can be praying about for you?”
  2. Instead of being critical, tell him what he’s doing right. Too many times we focus on the things that we don’t like about people instead of what they are doing right. Instead of saying the sermons are too long, to deep, to simple, to short (like that would ever happen), tell him what you like about his sermons. Instead of pointing out the negatives in his life, look for some positive things. Make sure you tell him regularly what he’s doing right.
  3. Give him time off and allow him a life outside the church. Ministers are on call 24/7 and so it’s good when they can have some “down time.” Here are some ways you can do this… Encourage your preacher to take time off to vacation with his family or just get away. Another thing you can do is respect your preacher’s day off. Any preacher would drop what they are doing to help you in a crisis on their day off, but don’t call him on his day off to have him look up a church phone number or address for you.
  4. Be willing to work with your preacher. Don’t expect him to do everything. Ask him if you can go make visits with him or volunteer to help when needed. Nothing is more frustrating to a preacher than having to beg for help.
  5. Don’t starve your preacher but pay him a fair salary. There used to be an old joke about how churches would pray for their preachers, “Lord, if you’ll keep him humble, we’ll keep him poor.” It’s appalling that there are churches that assume that the preacher is in a “spiritual” vocation, and doesn’t need to be paid as much as similar people in the community.
  6. Bless your preacher’s wife and kids. Don’t expect more from the preacher’s family than you would other’s families. They don’t need placed up on a pedestal. The minister’s wife is the most important person in your minister’s life. She is the one that encourages him, strengthens him and supports him. The task of being the preacher’s wife is the most under appreciated roll in the world. Also, your preacher’s kids are normal kids. They will make mistakes, and they will need encouragement too. Encourage your preacher’s wife and kids.
  7. Write him a note of encouragement. Not a “to do” list, but a note saying, “I appreciate you,” or “Thank you.” There’s nothing like finding an email or note in the mail with a kind word or an encouraging remark. You can’t over encourage you preacher.
  8. Talk kindly about him in the community. Don’t criticize him or his family in the coffee shop, beauty shop or other local gathering place. What kind of influence are you going to be if you try to invite someone to church right after you’ve told them that the “sermons will put you to sleep.” I actually knew a woman one time that did nothing but complain about her preacher to her family and all over the community. Then in the same breath she’d exclaim, “I don’t know why I can’t get my husband to come to church with me?”
  9. Check your preacher’s work load. I’m sure there are a few lazy preachers out there, but most are work-a-holics. Is their boat overloaded? Is there something you could do to relieve some of the pressure of his work load? Believe it or not, preachers do work more than one day a week :)
  10. Do something nice for your preacher. I’m not saying, “Buy them a house,” but I am saying that doing something nice shows a lot of love. I can think of plenty of examples; I remember an old cowboy that would every year make sure there was beef in my freezer. I remember going to pay for my family’s lunch at the restaurant counter and someone had paid my bill. I remember a gift certificate to a local restaurant. One of my most valued possessions is a quilt that was hand made especially for my family. I could go on. It means so much when people do nice things for you. Find out what your minister likes or what restaurant he likes the most – then surprise him.
There’s too many preachers burning out and getting out of the ministry these days. We just need to do a little encouraging. I’m very thankful to be in a very encouraging congregation that blesses both me and my family. I pray every minister can experience a loving congregation.

Can you think of one I forgot?

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Article by Trey Morgan

I am a Christian husband and father, who moonlights as the minister for the church of Christ in Childress, Texas. My wife Lea and I have been married for 25 years. We are doing our best to raise our 4 boys, who are all growing up way too fast. Read 1182 articles by
26 Comments Post a Comment
  1. Paula Harrington says:

    Looks good. Thanks for reminding people that preachers (and their families) are human, too.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Don’t compare him to previous preachers.
    -NB

  3. lisa leichner says:

    I think that’s a good, positive follow-up to the last one. Nice job, Trey. I’m sure preachers everywhere are hoping their members are reading. :)

  4. John Roberts says:

    Just have to “amen” the list. I think most preachers wish their congregations/elders had this kind of list posted on their refrigerator.
    I guess I would add, “be their friend.” Everywhere I’ve been, most people are friendly, but not friends. They keep you at arms-length because they know eventually you will move on, so why waste the effort? It would be nice just to be treated like a real person, instead of always “the preacher.”

  5. Matt says:

    Bless His spiritual life… ask if he is part of an accountability group and become prayer warriors for each other preachers are men just like us they fall prey to temptations. How can we expect them to resist the assult on their soul with out armor. Sometimes whenever a preacher or his family does something sinful we want to fire them instead of nuture there soul.
    hope it all makes sense
    peace, FMtWR

  6. TREY MORGAN says:

    Amen – Paula & NB & Lisa

    John – Excellent “add” on the friends. It’s nice when you can open up and just be yourself around friends.

    Matt – Welcome to the blogging world my friend. Glad to see you’re now posting. I’m looking forward to checking out your blog. You are 100% right about the minister’s spiritual life. It’s nice to have a accountability partner.

  7. Gallagher says:

    Trey,

    Great list! Every bulletin/newsletter need to carry this list

  8. DJG says:

    I would think one would be to allow him to be a real person. Invite him to do something fun like go to a ballgame or fishing or water skiing….I guess that is part of being a friend, but realize that they are “real” people.

  9. Mommysmart says:

    I enjoyed the list and it’s funny that those are pretty basic rules for nuturing all relationships. So is it fair to say that preachers want to be treated like you would treat your friends?

    With that being said, friend, how old is that picture over in the corner? That is how I remember the two of you looking when I first met you both.

  10. Mommysmart says:

    Sorry, djg, I read other comments after making my own and I sort of copied yours. We were on the same thought.

  11. Chris says:

    Trey, is this a “wish list” or what!!!

  12. Baptist Man says:

    This list is a great complement to the 10 ways to get your preacher to quit list. I linked to this post on my blog. Again, I hope every Christians reads and practices what they read here.

  13. Neva says:

    Trey,
    As a preacher’s kid and then a preacher’s wife for a second time, every preacher appreciates those things. They also appreciate someone partnering with them in the ministry. If your preacher is going to visit someone, ask to go along, you can encourage each other along the way. If your preacher is helping someone move, offer to go. Some of our best friends in North Platte were ones who partnered with us in the ministry—for Ned it made being able to preach even better.
    Good post, Trey
    Peace
    neva

  14. Neva says:

    PS—Being a minister’s wife is by far the absolute best job in the whole entire world. Lea should post on how to treat a preacher’s wife or maybe your son could do one on how to be a pk.

    n

  15. Paula Harrington says:

    Is Baptist Man a superhero…Just wondering :)

  16. Paula Harrington says:

    LOL

  17. Brian Nicklaus says:

    fall of 2005, my congregation took up a private collection to give me to spend on books for my library.

    now that was cool! i love books and I needed the help.

  18. TREY MORGAN says:

    Monica, Good call on the picture. I wondered if someone would notice. I found it on my computer this weekend looking at old digital pictures. We did look SO young. I think that picture was about 12 years ago. Lea looked like a young girl (wow).

    Chris – I’m very blessed to be in a place that takes good care of their preachers. They have blessed in so many ways. I wish every minister could experience a “Childress.”

  19. TREY MORGAN says:

    Neva, Good thinking on the preacher’s wives. You can understand the difficulties that are sometimes involved in being the preacher’s wife. Lea does a good job at it. She definately works so much behind the scenes.

    Brian, Too cool. I’ve got a couple of stories like that. Pretty humbling isn’t it? Glad you are out and around today.

    Just a thought… but I love hearing good stories about how churches and ministers like one another. It’s so refreshing to hear people say things like, “I really like my minister,” etc. Sometimes you hear the total opposite. Including horror stories.

  20. Anonymous says:

    Beyond encouraging a preacher by telling him the things he is doing right…show him, by making a change or putting his sermon into action.
    -NB

  21. The Preacher's Household: says:

    NB, Amen, nothing is better than knowing they are really listening and applying it. I want to repaet this with a story. I was at a congregation where the preacher is supposed to go to the foyer after the sermon. A guy met me and said “I’m glad you preached that sermon on what is wrong with gettin naked and dancing.” I preached David moving the Ark of the Covenant. The two points in my lesson were not his but Doing things God’s way and Having a good time doing it His way.

    Trey, This is a good post. It is good to count the blessings.

    We have been blessed by people bringing us food too. In five years we have been given three sides of beef and three pigs. We have a member that goes once a month to Sams etc. in a larger city. This couple always brings us a load. It is amazing and humbling.

    James

  22. Ancient Wanderer says:

    How about this:

    Just let him do his job. He is a minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. “Congregationism” is not a legitimate vocation.

    BTW: The congregation here at STCoC, those children of God’s that He has allowed me access to… they let me do my job and trust that I have God’s best interests in mind, at heart…

    AW

  23. Dag Selander says:

    TREY: Yes, so important with encouragement. We all need the ministry of Barnabas, especially front servants. After 30-40 yrs in the preaching life I know a little about what you are talking about.

    And, Trey, you have a really wonderful blog. You are a man of order and admin, aren´t you, by the grace of the Lord…

    Greetings from Sweden where we just are receiving spring time with the bords etc

    Rich blessings! //Dag Sr

  24. TREY MORGAN says:

    NB … that is a great idea. I love it when I hear someone say something specific about my sermon from a week or two ago. It means not only did they hear, but they remembered.

    Aw – Isn’t it nice to be a co-worker and not a “hireling?”

    Dag – Welcome, glad you’ve come around. After preaching for the length you have, you can really give some insite to these points. I hope you’ll drop back by sometime. Blessings

  25. lisa says:

    “insite” is spelled i-n-s-i-g-h-t

    HAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

  26. TREY MORGAN says:

    Lisa … we allow type-o’s on my blog!

About Me

Trey Morgan Here are my thoughts about marriage, family, raising children, humor, faith and the life God intended for us all. I am a Christian husband and father, who moonlights as the minister for the church of Christ in Childress, Texas. My wife Lea and I have been married for 25 years. We are doing our best to raise our 4 boys, who are all growing up way too fast.

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