By Matt Henslee
We previously ran an article on Lifeway Pastors on 10 of the most ridiculous things said to pastors. Today, we decided to flip it a bit. We asked a group of ministers what were some of the most encouraging things people ever said to them in their role as pastor.
One of our aims at Lifeway Pastors is to encourage church leaders who are in the trenches of gospel ministry. What a blessing it is to be encouraged by those who know you best.
Here are ten encouraging things that have been said to pastors:
- “I learn more about the Bible in five minutes of this study with you than I would in five hours of reading on my own.” Words like these make long hours in the study worth it.
- “I like the way you handle Scripture. It’s clear God has His hand on you.” What an affirmation of 2 Timothy 2:15 in this pastor’s life.
- “Preacher, just let me know if someone acts ugly to you and I’ll lay hands on them.” This was from a man who, before he got saved, was known as “the toughest, cussingest, drinkingest man in the county.”
- “I expect you to do great things through your preaching. You’ll be the next Spurgeon.” No pressure there.
- “You don’t make me feel stupid…you help me understand.” To me, this screams 1 Corinthians 2:1-8—preaching that’s simple, faithful, and that points to Jesus.
- “I thought you were too young to be my pastor but now I know I was wrong…you are my pastor, and I’m grateful for you.” This came from a church member who used to be a naysayer early on in the young pastor’s tenure. However, the pastor shepherded this family well, and it paid off.
- “I can count on you to preach the Bible.” It’s easy to bow to the whims and ever-changing winds of society, but it’s oh, so worth it to simply preach the Word.
- “I’m 80-years-old and I’ve never studied the Bible because I didn’t understand it…now I do and I know how it points to Jesus.” Having heard something similar once, this brought tears of joy to my eyes. Heralding the gloriously good news of the gospel is worth it.
- “You’ve helped deepen my love of Scripture.” We’re not in the pulpit to pontificate on our ideas, but to proclaim Christ and Him crucified.
- “I love you.” Three simple words that make everything we do worth it.
Oh, and here’s a bonus story:
When I was hired as the youth pastor at my first church, the vote was 147 to 1. I was there for six years. Around year five, one of my biggest supporters came to me and said, “There’s something I need to get off my chest. I was the lone no vote. But I want you to know I’ve never been more happy to have been proven wrong.”
While we don’t preach for the applause or acclaim of others, what a blessing it is to be affirmed in our calling to preach the Word by those we’ve been entrusted to shepherd. As you labor in your study this week, know that whether or not you hear words like these this Sunday, what you’re doing is worth it!
In the comment section below, share the most encouraging things you’ve been told as a pastor.