My most insecure moment as a Pastor is immediately after preaching. Even though my main preaching objective is articulating what I sense the LORD saying, I often find myself asking, "Did my message connect? Did I totally screw up my sermon? Was my zipper down that whole time?"
"Anxiety weighs down the heart, but a kind word cheers it up."
Having a group of people watching, processing and criticizing every word you say is stressful--especially when people's lives are on the line. Yes, most of us preachers have spent a lot of time on stage, but we are still human and have insecurities. Thankfully, there are people who encourage me immediately after preaching. Hearing an uplifting word after speaking means the world to me, and I'm sure it will for your pastor too. A positive word lets Pastors know their efforts are not wasted.
I encourage you to encourage your pastor immediately after every sermon.
This small gesture will produce strength, passion and motivation for future ministry. If you want to effectively encourage your pastor, follow these 6 simple tips.
6 Tips to Help Encourage your Pastor After Preaching
1. Encourage Immediately
The moment right after speaking is the most insecure. Approach your Pastor as soon as you can to say something kind. Encouragement a week later is good, but immediately is better if you want to neutralize the "insecure moment."
2. Send a Personal Message
Put your encouragement in a text message, email, card or on a piece of paper. I still read notes people gave me 10 years ago. Something as permanent as a written message will uplift your Pastor for years.
3. Say Something Specific
After a sermon, people tell me, "Good job." Almost always, I then ask, "How did God use this message to impact you?" I want to know the specific parts of the message or delivery that caused it to be good. Find a quote, story or joke you found particularly exceptional and let your pastor know.
4. Quote Your Pastor On Social Media
Once you have a quote, put it on Social media and tag your pastor. Even better if you incorporate the Pastor's quote with an original picture! I look forward to reading these every week.
5. Share Transformation Stories
If God did something in your life or someone else's, please let your Pastors know! Most people got into the ministry because they want to see lives changing, so let them know it's happening. Pass on the testimonies. Don't assume the Pastor has heard any good reports.
6. Save Constructive Criticism for Later
Growing as a preacher is one of my main focuses in life. Feedback is my friend, but only after a minimum of 12 hours after preaching. Please don't bring up negative feedback during the most insecure moment of a preacher's life!
This blog seems very narcissistic and the product of a "selfie" culture. This may be true, but, ultimately, the main affirmation I want to hear is "Well Done, Good and Faithful Servant." Knowing that our sermons are making a difference, on this side of eternity, isn't just flattery though. It's confirmation that God is using us and changing lives.
Please, encourage your pastor after he or she preaches. Your five seconds of kindness makes a huge difference and costs very little.
QUESTION: What's holding you back from applying this every time you hear a sermon?