"You did a great job!" just isn't something people think of saying to their boss, their community leader or even their Pastor. Most pastors would shrink from open praise, but there are some clear ways that we can each be real sources of encouragement to our pastors.
1. Pray for him.
This is the most important way you can encourage your pastor, if you commit to pray for him daily. Your pastor will face temptations to despair, to discouragement, to be distracted from what God has called him to do. He will be pulled in every possible direction from well-meaning and not-so-well-meaning church members. The time it takes in being a pastor can create temptations for tensions in his home. Knowing how much our enemy hates family, you can be certain he will viciously attack your pastor's family.
Decide to pray for your pastor every day. I am willing to bet if he is a true man of God, he is praying for you every day. When the Lord brings him to your mind, let prayer be your first reaction.
2. Be at church
Your attendance at church will be more of a source of encouragement than you can ever imagine. Just show up! Be there, be on time, be attentive. Show as much attention to the service as you do to the ballgame the day before.
Decide you will participate in the church services in any way the Lord leads you. Having ready volunteers on hand makes the role of the pastor even easier.
3. Follow the "Thumper Rule"
In Disney's movie, "Bambi" the little Rabbit Thumper said, "Mama always says 'If you can't say something nice, don't say nothin' at all.' "
If you can't say something nice about the pastor, his wife, his children, the service. . .then just don't say anything. Make your goal to fulfill Ephesians 4:13: "Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace."
4. Dispel dissension
When others try to sow the seeds of discord in the church, be the one who stops it, not adds to it. Don't tolerate gossip in the church. Set the example for others of always treating your pastor with respect, and speaking of him to others with respect as well.
5. Go to to church to give, not to get
Have the attitude that you are going to church to give to others, not to get from others. We are all to minister edification and encouragement to each other, not to consider the church our "filling station" to fill us up until we can get there again for the next service. Realize that every person we contact has some need that only the Lord Jesus can fulfill. Make yourself available to your fellow believers at church with the goal of building them up and lifting them up through the Lord Jesus.
The Lord Jesus told His disciples, "My meat is to do the will of Him that sent me, and to finish His work," (John 4:34). We reap the most when we are doing His will, giving to others, meeting their needs, not looking out for our own. As I heard one pastor say, "The Holy Spirit of Love lives in our hearts and He is a giver, so we are to be givers as well."
6. Remember even our pastors need rest.
Being a shepherd over the sheep is tiring work and at some point even the shepherd must sleep. Our pastors need some time to rest and be restored. Do not begrudge them a vacation or time away with their families as this can be a much needed time of rest and healing for them. They have borne many sorrows and troubles with those in need and sometimes just need time to be refreshed.
Our pastors bear a heavy load and much responsibility. Let us do all we can to encourage them, to strengthen them and to help edify the believers in our own assemblies.
"Lovest thou me? And he said unto Him, Lord, Thou knowest all things;
Thou knowest that I love Thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed My sheep."