How to Encourage Your Pastor

What Not to Say


Each Sunday, pastors around the world seek to serve their churches by preaching the Word of God. They need encouragement, too. Many in the pews fail to understand how much pastors pour themselves into their sermons, which leads congregants to lack wisdom in their words to their pastor. Pastors J.D. Greear, Bryan Chapell, and Mike McKinley share from their collective pastoral experience to offer practical advice on what the body of Christ can do to better encourage its church leadership.

J.D. Greear is the Lead Pastor of The Summit Church in the Raleigh-Durham area of North Carolina. Bryan Chapell is the Senior Pastor of Grace Presbyterian Church in Peoria, Illinois and former Chancellor of Covenant Theological Seminary in St. Louis, Missouri. Mike McKinley serves as senior pastor at Sterling Park Baptist Church in Sterling, Virginia.


How have you attempted to encourage your pastor? Was it effective? In light of this discussion, is there anything you would do differently today? If so, what?
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Each pastor gave an example of discouraging interactions with people immediately following their preaching. Was there a specific example that stuck out to you? If so, why? How could you relate to it? How would it be discouraging to your pastor?
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How valuable is it to you to act as an encouragement to your pastor? Is it a priority for you? If not, why? In what ways could you shift your efforts to praise your pastor's faithfulness instead of their circumstantial skills?
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Bryan shared that most people don't recognize how much preaching takes out of pastors. Often, they are not prepared to launch into a debate right after preaching and frequently find themselves vulnerable from investing so much into the sermon. How did this comment cause you to change the way you think about approaching your pastor immediately following a sermon? What will you do differently in the future?
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J.D. encouraged those who are naturally more critical to remember the humanity of their preacher and to exercise wisdom in their interactions. Would you consider yourself a naturally critical person? If so, can you see the importance of wisdom in the ways you interact with your pastor? In general, what are some ways in which you could grow in wisdom with your attempts to encourage your pastor? How will you pursue it going forward?
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It's not wrong to commend a preacher. In fact, pastoral encouragement is an important part of stewardship for the body of Christ. As you continue to sit under your current leadership, look for ways to encourage your pastor. Ask God to supply you with wisdom in this task for the benefit of the body of Christ.


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