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How the Pew Can Help the Pulpit

Provide for him.

Bivocational pastors are the unsung heroes of the church, who work a job to care for their families as they do the work of ministry for little or no pay. Many churches are not able to adequately compensate their pastors.

But others are just stingy. Being determined to deprive the preacher, they rob themselves.

Do your best to care for the needs of your pastor and his family.

Be marked present.

A blind and deaf Christian was asked why he attended church since he could not see or hear the service. He answered, “I just want people to know which side I’m on.”

Your regular church attendance is a statement to the world. It is an act of obedience that builds up other believers (Heb. 10:24-25). And it is a great encouragement to your pastor.

You challenge him to prepare a better meal if you consistently show up with a good attitude and a big appetite.

Listen to the sermon.

Just because you are in the service does not mean you hear the sermon. And the pastor knows it.

He stands on a raised platform in a room with people sitting in front of him. And he sees what’s happening in front of him. When you spend the sermon talking, walking, texting or sleeping, it’s distracting and discouraging.

But nothing makes a man want to preach harder than to have people actually listening, sitting up, following along and taking notes. An occasional “Amen” doesn’t hurt either.

Encourage him.

Preaching can be discouraging work. If I stopped writing this article and didn’t get back to it for a week, I could pick up right where I left off. Preaching doesn’t work that way.

We try to reach out to people on Sunday mornings. The world tries to reach them all the rest of the week. The gravitational pull is against the things of God. And the pastor often feels he is not making a difference.

Encourage him. Don’t stroke his ego. But give him specific ways you are learning and growing.

Be a doer of the word.

A church is not committed to the word just because the pulpit preaches the truth. A church is committed to the word when biblical preaching together shapes its life. To hear the word without doing what it says is self-deception (James 1:22-25).

Members often leave the service and rate the pastor’s sermon. But the real issue is what you do with what you hear.

Be eager hear the word. But don’t stop there. Live it out by Christ’s power and for God’s glory!

What do you think? What would you add to this list? How do you think the pew can better support the pulpit?  

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H.B. Charles, Jr. is a pastor, speaker, and writer. He lives with his wife and children in Jacksonville (FL), where he serves as the Senior-Pastor of the Shiloh Metropolitan Baptist Church.