Friday, April 26, 2013

New Site for Bless Your Pastor

Bless Your Pastor has moved to WordPress. Please look for us there at:

Thank you for faithfully reading Bless Your Pastor! The response to these few posts have been amazing! You guys rock!

Friday, April 19, 2013

A Novel Idea

Pastors love to hear from their people, especially when it comes to a special word that God has given them or the great things God is doing in their lives.

You may be afraid to write to your pastor because you think he receives too much mail and doesn't care about yours. Nonsense! Those special letters always brighten his day and remind him that his ministry is having a positive effect in the lives of the people he shepherds.

Maybe you think nothing of writing a letter to your pastor to celebrate God's goodness to you. You may write often, and your pastor loves that too! I often hear my pastor shouting praise to God when good things happen to "our people".

Whichever letter-writing style is yours, I'd like to encourage you with

Two Things To Keep In Mind When Writing:

  • Write legibly so Pastor doesn't need to struggle with what you're trying to say. He may get frustrated at the time it takes to decipher your handwriting and move on.

  • Keep your letter as brief as possible. Don't lose your point by going down rabbit trails. Flowery language and non-essential information can make a story too hard to read. Mention the highlights and if he has further questions, he can contact you.

Pastors, what other letter-writing procedures would you recommend?

Read my previous post: Love or Judge

Friday, April 12, 2013

Love or Judge

(c) Kathy Fannon, May 2009

The older I’ve gotten and the more I’ve experienced of life, I find that I’m not as judgmental as I used to be. Sometimes you find out some things the hard way and you learn to go a little easier on people, even if they are making poor choices.

“But God hates sin.”

Yes, He does.

But is it non-sin when we look down our nose at those who are struggling? Is it non-sin to be condescending? Is it non-sin to rejoice in the downfall of one who has a moment of weakness?

I was horrified when I read some of the comments, by Christians, in regards to the tragic suicide of Rick and Kay Warren’s son last week. (Read some of them here.)

Matthew had a mental illness, he didn't choose to have that sickness. Who makes a choice to have cancer or Parkinson’s or MS? And who makes a choice to have a mental illness?

So, do these people mean to say there aren't issues they struggle with? Are they telling us they’re perfect? Because I know they sin, too. We all do. That’s why we need Jesus.

Before we start pointing fingers at someone else’s sin, struggles, heart aches and heartbreaks, we better think long and hard about ourselves.
  • Where do I fail that God needs to help me with?
  • What sin issues do I face that I need to turn over to God’s grace?
  • What struggles do I have that may be the same, or different from, somebody else’s? 
Let judgment of me begin with me.

So how should we react to people who are struggling?

Love Them
When I was going through a tough time because of some choices I made, my friend said to me, “I only love you more.” She was a true friend. She didn’t judge or condemn, just only loved me, supported me and helped me to find the way out. She pointed out that she didn't know what she would do in the same situation, so how could she judge me? She just accepted me.

Accept Them
Some people struggle with on-going issues in their lives, maybe for years. Don’t push them away because they don’t fit into your picture of what a Christian should be. Accept them right where they are, because that is where growth happens.

Grow Them
People need a chance to grow up and out of their struggles. They need a mentor to show them the way, to pray with them, to encourage them.

Encourage Them
Everybody needs a cheerleader. Be a cheerleader. Praise them when you see them making the right choices, encourage them when you see them making the wrong choices. But them.

We, as humans, tend to see sin as “big sin” and “little sin”, but God calls sin, “sin”, no matter what it is. We all do it. We all need God’s grace.

By helping others grow in love, you will bless your pastor.

Read my previous post: Support Your Worship Leader

More Excellent Reading:
Sadness and Madness by Beth Moore

Friday, April 5, 2013

Support Your Worship Leader

I've experienced worship songs under many different worship leaders over the years. Some were off-the-chain great and others not so much.

There were times of worship when hours seemed like minutes and times when minutes seemed like hours. Those were the times I had to remind myself that God asks for a sacrifice of praise and that is what I offered to Him...a sacrifice of praise, because my flesh sure wasn't feelin' it. (But it's not about our flesh, is it?)

Maybe you have a worship leader whom you love and support. You might look forward to worship service on Sunday mornings, and that is truly a blessing!

But maybe you're not a fan of your worship leader and you dread the worship service. Maybe you slink into your seat late so you can miss the singing altogether. I'd like to encourage you to bring the sacrifice of praise and remember worship is about our adoration and focus on God, not you.

Keep in mind that your pastor and staff have prayed for God's man (or woman) to lead your worship songs. Since they've heard from God, it's your job to support them; don't have a critical spirit when it comes to your worship leader.

Please don't complain to your pastor about the style of music you sing on a Sunday morning. It's not about the style, but the substance. You're there to worship Jesus. If you struggle with the style (and I have in the past), pray and ask God to help you have a pure heart before HIM.

Remember, not every song leader will appeal to everybody - pastors cannot possibly make everybody happy in their choice for a worship leader. But it is your choice whether or not you will support the leader God has placed as your "lead worshipper".

Support your worship leader and bless your pastor!

Read my previous post: What's Going On

Friday, March 29, 2013

What's Going On

What is your devotional life like?

How are things at home?

How are things at work?

How is your stress level?

If you're struggling in any of these areas, it will show in your area of ministry. If your private life is in disorder, so will your ministry be in disorder.

You may have a pure desire to minister to others, and maybe you don't feel like your stress at work is hurting your ability to minister on a Sunday, or that your relationship struggles at home are compromising your effectiveness, but they are.

I'm certain your pastor doesn't condemn you for struggling in certain areas, but he certainly wants you to minister from a healthy place. If you need to take a little time off to focus on some areas in your life for healing, talk to your pastor. He'll have your back. And in the will bless your pastor!

Read the previous post: Gossip: A Contagious Cancer
Read the next post: Support Your Worship Leader