I am so thankful for pastors. While this pandemic has been difficult for everyone, it has been particularly hard for those whose primary calling involves relating to people. During one of the greatest challenges that many of our churches will ever face, pastors have been placed in the undesirable position of ministering to their flocks from a distance. So, I want to take just a moment to thank all of the pastors who have done so admirably. And by the way, I don’t just mean Senior Pastors. I know many churches include several pastoral staff members who have all served tirelessly through this pandemic as well.

Here are ten ways that you can thank your pastor(s) for their leadership during this pandemic:

Pastor, thank you for your flexibility. This pandemic caught all of us off guard, and churches had to make significant adjustments very quickly. Switching from preaching to a crowded room to a camera in an office or empty auditorium, pastors had to learn new ways to lead their church in worship in just a few short days. Pastor, thank you for your willingness to do whatever it takes to ensure that your worship services continued!

Pastor, thank you for your sacrifice. For some, this pandemic has provided a needed pause from an overbooked calendar. Not so for many pastors. For many of them, these past two months have been busier than ever before. Whether your pastor has had to learn how to record and edit videos, livestream services, develop a regathering plan, or minister to the flock from a distance, most pastors have been working seven days a week since mid-March. Pastor, thank you for the sacrifices you’ve made to minister to your flock!

Pastor, thank you for your wisdom. Pastors have been forced to make many difficult decisions in a short amount of time. Do we hold in-person gatherings or not? Do we sign-up for online giving or not? Do we require people to wear masks when they return or not? So many decisions to be made (and to be questioned). Pastor, thank you for your wisdom as you make difficult decisions involving both the physical and spiritual well-being of your church.

Pastor, thank you for your diligence. These difficult decisions have not been made lightly. Pastors have read many articles, attended multiple webinars, and have conducted a great deal of research in order to ensure that their church takes all of the proper precautions before returning to in-person gatherings. Pastor, thank you for your hard work in making sure the church building is safe and sanitary before opening it up again to in-person worship services.

Pastor, thank you for your patience. It has been incredibly difficult for your pastor to spend such an extended time away from his congregation. Many pastors have been tempted to rush back to in-person services before they are really prepared to do so. Pastor, thank you for your godly patience in determining the right time to return.

Pastor, thank you for your creativity. I have been amazed at some of the creative ways churches have ministered during this pandemic. From drive-in services to online revivals to sending mission teams to help disinfect local businesses, churches have continued to carry out their mission in creative ways. Pastor, thank you for thinking outside the box!

Pastor, thank you for your collaboration. It has been such a blessing to my heart to witness pastors in my association gather online to share ideas and encourage one another. No church or pastor should feel like they are alone during these difficult days. Your pastor has probably offered and received advice from his fellow pastors during this time. In addition, he has most likely consulted with other leaders in your church as he made specific plans. Pastor, thank you for partnering with others!

Pastor, thank you for your encouragement. This pandemic could have easily caused many of us to become depressed or worried. I’m so thankful for all of the pastors who did not freak out and lose their composure, even though it was tempting to do so. Many pastors have been a source of stability and comfort in these challenging days. Pastor, thank you for encouraging others to trust in the Lord!

Pastor, thank you for your faithfulness. Pastors have proven themselves faithful to shepherd their flocks, even though they are physically distant from them. They have remained faithful to preach and proclaim the gospel. They have remained faithful to counsel members viritually. They have been faithful to lead the church to make difficult decisions. Pastor, thank you for remaining faithful to your calling in these challenging days!

Pastor, thank you for your love. All of the ways described above are proof that pastors love their flocks. Pastor, thank you for all of these and other ways that you’ve shown love to your church during the pandemic!

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