Here are six things that I suggest your pastor would love to hear you say.
Did You Give the Right Verse?
I need to know when I’ve given the wrong chapter or verse. I would rather be corrected than incorrect. Don’t worry about hurting my feelings. I need to know when I am wrong. I sometimes tell the church, “Part of my sermon today will be perfect! The part where I read out of the Bible. My part? Not so much.” I admit my mistakes and accept corrections when I have been shown to be wrong. You do me a favor by pointing out my mistakes. Thank you for that when you do. I need it, for I’m still a work in progress, just like you.
I Have a Question
This is one of the most welcome things that a pastor can hear: “I have a question.” Sometimes my answer is “I don’t know” or “that’s a very good question; let me see if I can find an answer.” It’s okay to say “I don’t know,” but when I hear a congregant ask me a question, it makes me realize that this person really wants to grow in their faith and in the knowledge of our Lord. I love it! There is no silly question except the one never asked. I love hearing this.
I can count on one hand the times that I’ve heard this from the church where I am pastor. Rare is the day when someone comes up to me after the message and says “very good message” or “that was so helpful.” I don’t give messages to receive thanks, but I do like to know if what I’m saying up there is reaching anyone and if it’s beneficial or not. Honestly, I’ve heard this less than five times in the last seven years. I have to admit–it does hurt not hearing any positive feedback at all.
What Can I Do to Serve the Church?
I heard the old line “20% of people do 80% of the work in the church,” and that could well be true. No wonder Jesus told the disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest” (Matt. 9:37-38). I have never had to say to anyone “no, we are fine” when asked “is there anything that we can do to help serve in the church?”
How Are You Doing?
What a great thing to hear. I believe I’m not the only one who needs to hear this–we all do! Every time you ask someone “how are you doing,” you show them that you care enough to take the time to listen and are genuine and sincere in asking about them. This connects us to one another in such a great way. It tells me and others that your love is outwardly expressed by an inward thought by such a considerate question.
“Thank you” and “you’re welcome” are things that you don’t hear much anymore. Sometimes these are abbreviated into “thanks” and “no problem,” but expressing a deep and sincere “thank you” and “you’re welcome” goes a long way in this world and not just in the church. Most of us have secular jobs, and it is rare to hear “thank you.” Don’t hesitate to tell others “thank you.” Don’t forget to tell your pastor that, too, once in a while, as well as your spouse, the postal carrier, your friends, or whomever.
I think we all need to hear more encouragement these days. Are we really that busy to stop and take a few seconds to say “thank you,” “how are you,” “good message,” “I have a question,” and “what can I do to serve”? These are music to the ears of anyone, not just the pastor. By the way, I preach this to myself, too, and would be quick to say these things to you if you were ever in the church where I am the under-shepherd to the Great Shepherd because it does go both ways.