I have been blessed the past week to receive several Christmas gifts from church members. These are never expected and it is always humbling to be reminded of the love people in the church have for their pastor and his family.
Christianity Today wrote an article What Your Pastor Really Wants for Christmas that has made its rounds on social media. I saw a preaching conference urge church members to pay their pastor’s registration fee as a Christmas present. Since I have found many pastors to be insecure, I thought, “Well, that gift will probably get the resume circulating!”
Just as Dr. Seuss taught us in “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” that Christmas is not bought in a store, I believe that the best gifts you can give your pastor for Christmas are not bought in a store. Consider these inexpensive gifts:
Your pastor wants you to attend faithfully. It takes most pastors many hours to prepare a sermon with the needs of his congregation in mind. It is frustrating in our world of convenience and competing loyalties to know that many in the congregation will not hear the Word of God because of their attendance pattern.
Your pastor wants your support. Regardless of the size of the congregation, every person has a different personality, different viewpoints, and different preferences. Your pastor wants to hear, “Unless you are violating God’s Word, I will support your leadership.”
Your pastor wants you to speak up for him. Not everyone is going to support your pastor, but when you hear of someone speaking against him because of their difference in preferences, rather than giving a listening ear, speak up for your pastor. Eventually, the detractors will get quiet.
Your pastor wants you to give faithfully. Every pastor should be modeling faithful stewardship in his own life and wants you to do the same. Your financial support of the ministries of the church allows your pastor to minister without the burden over whether ministries can continue, and in some cases, whether he can provide for his family.
Your pastor wants you to serve- and keep your commitment to serve. Every church member has heard the pleas for help. To those who ignore them, your pastor has deep feelings about you! But many hear the plea and agree to serve- only to drop out when it becomes difficult (which is often the first week). You are a blessing to your pastor when you faithfully serve.
Your pastor wants you to be proud of your church. He wants you to be excited about what God is doing in and through your church. He wants you to invite others to attend.
Your pastor wants you to share your faith. As 1 Peter 3:15 states, “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope you have.”
Your pastor wants you to pray for him and his family. Your pastor is following God’s calling on his life. It is not easy. The road can be long and lonely. But when your pastor knows you are praying for him, he knows he is not alone and he is encouraged in the journey.
As you can see, it is easier for you to go pick up a gift at the store for your pastor, and while he is appreciative of the gift, what he really wants is something more. Give your pastor what he really wants this Christmas!