I cherish the relationships God has given me with our church family. As an undershepherd, I am grateful for the privilege of visiting members in the hospital, attending our young people’s ball games, having families in our home for fellowship, going soulwinning with men from our church—connecting with our church family in any and every way I am able.
I am also grateful for church members who make an effort to connect with me. As the church grows, I am less able to attend every social event or to initiate fellowship with every member as I would like to.
Not only is it a blessing to me to connect with our church family, but according to 1 Thessalonians 5:12, it is a need for church members to connect with their pastor: “And we beseech you, brethren, to know them which labour among you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you.” The word know in this verse means “to acknowledge and esteem.”
As a church member, you need—for your own Christian growth—to acknowledge and esteem your pastor. You need to stay connected with him and to give him entrance into your heart and life.
How then, can you, as a church member, best stay in touch with your pastor?
Below are seven simple ways:
- Attend every service. Ironically, people who tell me they don’t “feel connected” to me or to our church are often the same people who have become spotty in their church attendance. This may sound elementary, but if you want to hear your pastor’s heart for you, listen to his preaching. Pastors pour their hearts into their sermons. Just being present and listening in church will give you a glimpse into his heart and a connection with him.
- Pray daily for your pastor. You can count on it—your pastor prays for you. It is part of the heart of an undershepherd to lift you up to the Lord in intercessory prayer. Even with a large membership at our church, I pray for every member by name on a regular basis. At the same time, I need church members to pray for me and my family! I often sense the prayers of God’s people when I am involved in ministry—and I am deeply grateful for every one of them.
- Greet your pastor at church. Seek him out just to say “hello.” One person (the pastor) cannot possibly greet every member of the entire church every service, but any one person (you) can seek out and greet the pastor any service you choose. It is probably not possible or necessary to seek your pastor out at every church service to say hello, but make a note to catch his eye and say hello regularly.
- Teach your children to love him. One of the best things you can do for your kids is to let them know that the pastor is their friend. Take them to your pastor to share their bits of good news or upcoming opportunities with him. (I truly enjoy congratulating six-year-olds on their first missing tooth, and I’m thrilled when teens share with me the events of their lives.) Let your children know that they have a pastor who loves their family and prays for them.
- Connect via social media. Follow your pastor on Twitter, become his friend on Facebook, and read his blog. When I post online, I often have my church family in mind. I may send a tweet asking for prayer, remembering our many members who faithfully pray for me. Or I may post a simple event of my day, thankful for the ability to connect mid-week via social media tools.
- Keep him informed. Pastors have a lot on their minds and often struggle to keep all the details sorted out. Your pastor may forget when your milestone birthday or anniversary is approaching, but I can guarantee that he would be grateful for you to remind him or let him know about it. If I had my way, I’d be at every church activity and every member’s special event. There is more going on at our church than is physically possible for any one person to attend, but I still want to know about special events. Even if I can’t be there, I appreciate the opportunity to know what is going on in our members’ lives and to better pray for them.
- Give him entrance into your life. One of the most significant initiatives you can take to connect with your pastor begins with a simple decision on your part—that of giving him entrance into your heart and life. Even when you are not able to have long and frequent times of heart-to-heart fellowship with him, determine that you want his input into your life. Maintain an open spirit, and let your pastor know that you value his input in your life and family at any time and in any way.
Remember, when you make a purposed effort to connect with your pastor, you not only encourage him, but you are doing yourself and your family a favor as well! You need spiritual accountability and connection with your pastor. A strong relationship with your pastor provides a biblical channel for spiritual growth in your own life.