Without a doubt, your pastor needs support and encouragement. Having served in the ministry for 60+ years, I can tell you that I have always appreciated lay people who encouraged me on a regular basis.
The question may arise in your mind, ‘How can I encourage and support my pastor in a real and meaningful way?” The suggestions I am making come from observations and experience.
As a lay person, you can make a great difference in the way that your pastor functions.
The number one thing that you can do is pray for him. Paul’s request for prayer in Ephesians is very appropriate for any pastor. “Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains.” (Eph. 6:19-20, NIV)
As you pray for your pastor and staff members, remember to pray for their family as well. Sometimes the pastor’s wife and children are under great scrutiny by church members. They need prayer support to enable them to live a peaceable life.
In addition to prayer, you can also offer words of encouragement to your pastor on a regular basis. On a weekly basis, I call my pastor to encourage him and ask for any specific prayer requests for which I can pray for him and with him. Every pastor I know appreciates words of encouragement.
Words of encouragement can also be sent through a text message. Just the thought that someone is thinking about and praying for a pastor brightens the day and motivates the pastor to do better. You can also offer words of encouragement personally as you see him at church or in a place of business.
A third suggestion for supporting your pastor involves remembering him on special occasions. A birthday, marriage anniversary, and service anniversary are examples of times you need to remember so that you can make appropriate gestures of encouragement. Postcards, text messages, personal hand-written notes are good ways to let the pastor know you care.
Another way to show your support is to offer to help him by doing works of service. Perhaps you can run an errand for him. You might also offer to mow his yard on occasions. You might offer to take care of their small children so that the pastor and his wife can have a date night. There are countless other ways you can offer specific help to your pastor. Be creative. Look for opportunities to help.
A final suggestion may be more difficult. When you are in a group or talking to another person that might be talking negatively about the pastor, you can show you support for your pastor by turning the conversation into a positive situation. No pastor is perfect. Help others to accept his humanity and know he will make mistakes. Help others to understand that if they have a problem with the pastor, the best solution is talk to him not about him. When you take this kind of action, you are offering some of the greatest support to your pastor that you can possible give.
The apostle Paul, on several occasions in the books of the Bible he wrote, expressed appreciation to lay people for their support and prayers. You can be that kind of person if you look for and discover ways you can support your pastor.
(Please know that you can apply these same suggestions for other staff members in your church.)