Do you like being appreciated for what you do? Most people do, and it is most significant when accompanied by words of affirmation and gratitude for a job well done. Parents, teachers, employees—everyone deserves some kudos for their efforts and job performance. Spiritual leaders and pastors likewise deserve our encouragement and support, so here are my top 7 Bible verses to show appreciation for a pastor.
Numbers 6:24-26 “The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.”
This is the first verse that came to mind when thinking about how to bless my pastor and show him my appreciation for all that he does for the church. Pastors and shepherds work tirelessly on behalf of their flocks, and it is imperative that we speak and pray blessings over them. These verses in Numbers are part of an Aaronic blessing that Moses’ brother, Aaron, spoke over the Israelites, and it is very appropriate for our spiritual leaders as well. They are priests, and they deserve to be blessed by the Lord and to receive his peace.
Deuteronomy 28:2 “And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, if you obey the voice of the Lord your God.”
Pastors sacrifice a great deal on behalf of the sheep, and another way to show them appreciation is to remind them of the amazing blessings that God has in store for them. I love what it says here, because it explains that God’s goodness will overtake them if they obey his voice. True obedience to God will ensure that future blessings will come upon them and even go ahead of them.
Deuteronomy 30:16 “If you obey the commandments of the Lord your God that I command you today, by loving the Lord your God, by walking in his ways, and by keeping his commandments and his statutes and his rules, then you shall live and multiply, and the Lord your God will bless you in the land that you are entering to take possession of it.”
Shepherds and spiritual leaders are about doing their Father’s business. They combine all the talents that God has given them to build up, encourage, mentor, disciple, and mature other followers of Christ. Oftentimes, that leads them to sacrifice so much that they neglect their own well-being. Pastors try so hard to love God and obey his commands, rules and statutes that they forget about the rewards the Lord has promised to give them. It is up to us then to remind them of how valuable they are to the Kingdom of God and what they have to look forward to one day in heaven as well.
Jeremiah 3:15 “And I will give you shepherds after my own heart, who will feed you with knowledge and understanding.”
Everyone questions their calling on occasion, especially when they are going through rough times. Pastors likewise might doubt whether they are hearing from the Lord about their life’s work, so this passage is a perfect way to encourage your spiritual leader. Remind them that it is the Lord that has raised them up to feed the flock with knowledge and understanding. He has also seen their hearts, and recognized himself in them. God has appointed them as pastors, because they are shepherds after his own heart.
Esther 4:14 “For if you keep silent at this time, relief and deliverance will rise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?”
Another way to encourage pastors in their day to day life, is to remind them that they have been called by God for such a time as this. Even when things are tough and hardships abound in the church or among the flock, the Lord wants pastors to know that they are an important part of his plan for the body of Christ. Like Queen Esther, pastors are called for a certain time and place of ministry, because God knows their hearts and love for him.
Jeremiah 33:3 “Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known.”
Spiritual leaders from every church want to have a close relationship with God, and this is a perfect verse to use to encourage them in their search through God’s word. It is so affirming to know that as pastors call to the Lord in prayer, and as they read and study his word that he will answer them. And not only will he respond to them, but he will also show them great and marvelous things. These truths can then be shared with the body of Christ.
Matthew 6:33 “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”
My final verse to encourage pastors is this one found in the book of Matthew. Everyone gets discouraged and might even question their calling, but this verse is a wonderful reminder that if we seek the kingdom of God first and his righteousness, then all the other questions and things we need will be given to us as well. God’s blessing will surpass even our greatest expectations if we put him first in our hearts and in our lives.
Encouraging and supporting one another is a valuable part of our Christian walk. How much more important is it then to affirm and bless our pastors and spiritual leaders with words, verses, and acts of appreciation? I believe that this is something that should never be neglected, and I recommend making it a priority even today. Go and encourage your pastor right now!!
Written by Karla Hawkins
God has been good to me over the years, and I have much for which to be grateful to Him. First of all, I feel blessed to be the pastor’s wife of a thriving church in northern Michigan and the mother of four amazing grown children. It is also very rewarding to be a Christian author, editor and translator for the Kingdom of God. Some of my favorite pastimes include supporting my children’s contemporary Christian band ONLY9AM, singing on the worship team at church.