I want to share some ideas about the best gifts for pastors. (How’s that for a self-serving article?)
Those from the church where I serve as pastor should read this post knowing I minister to hundreds of pastors every month. In my latest blog survey, over 50 percent of my readers are in vocational ministry. But even more important, only about 10 percent of my readers actually know me personally. So, this is not a personal plea. It’s written for the hopeful benefit of others who can benefit from gifts for pastors. Thanks for being the kind of church that—for the most part—protects the pastor.
Most churches love to bless their pastor. I get asked frequently how the church can help me.
To be a pastor of a local church is a privilege and a high honor. But it’s the hardest work I’ve ever done.
Here are five gifts for pastors:
1. Your understanding of time
The pastor needs time away from the ministerial responsibilities and activities of the church so that he can commit time to his family and to the ministry of the Word of God. Every activity done in the church is important, according to God’s Word, but the primary responsibility of the pastor is to teach God’s Word. I have witnessed so many pastors who burn out because too many demands are placed upon them. If there is a social or an activity in the church or among its people, most people expect the pastor to always be there. There is often little consideration of the fact that the pastor needs time with his family; and certainly time to prepare the message of God’s Word.
If you want your pastor to be prepared to deliver God’s message of the week to you, and if you want his family to be strong enough that he can model family life for you, then give him time alone with God during the week. Make sure he has time to study and for his family. Too many demands on his time will make a very stressed out pastor!
2. Your financial partnership
Your pastor needs to be personally supported financially and needs your partnership in funding the mission of the church.
I haven’t met any strong, biblical pastors who don’t realize that the ministry is a sacrifice. Most pastors don’t expect to be wealthy. Most pastors know that the ministry is a life of faith, even in the area of finances. They shouldn’t, however, have to beg for support. The burden of support should be on those receiving the ministry.
Operating any size church takes resources. The stress of “fundraising” on a pastor usually is outside of their comfort zone and expertise. What a blessing it is to a pastor when people give gifts for pastors by willingly sacrificing to fund the vision!