Hold them in the highest regard in love because of their work. (1 Thess. 5:13)

As a very young boy, traveling home with my parents after church one day, I recall saying to them, “I don’t know how he does it.” I didn’t know how our pastor could talk for so long about just a few words from the Bible. My mom shared about the importance of the preaching of God’s Word, and I distinctly remember responding, “I will never be a preacher.” I am convinced God has a great sense of humor. After thirty-five years as a pastor and a professor at a Bible college, I teach the next generation of up-and-coming Christian leaders how to preach, pastor, and lead.

Responsible pastors provide local church leadership, congregational care, and individual counseling; they empower and equip lay ministry, build teams, cast vision, and solve problems. The demands, challenges, and opportunities often far exceed the number of hours available. It is no wonder some call ministry, the “black hole of the universe.” Ministry can and will take every bit of time, energy, resource, and thought pastors have to offer, and yet the needs continue to exceed what we can provide.

It is no wonder the apostle Paul said to hold spiritual leaders in “highest regard . . . because of their work.” Spiritual leaders need people who can support them, pray for them, and encourage them with words and actions.

Find practical ways to encourage your pastor.

Stephen Elliott serves as national superintendent of The Wesleyan Church of Canada and part-time teacher at Kingswood University. He is a happy grandfather of four girls.

© 2019 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission.