Once the church and the pastor resolve to be spiritually healthy and mutually supportive, the next questions are, what specific ways can this take place? Each of these could easily be its own post: but I list some quick ideas in addition to those listed in the first post below. I'd love to hear yours as well:
- Make the conscious decision to avoid judging the minister's spouse or children. Instead, find ways to bless them.
- On anniversaries of service, acknowledge the occasion with a card or some other means of showing appreciation.
- Pray daily for the minister and his or her family.
- If you have access to a vacation home or other "R and R" possibilities, consider offering those to the minister and his or her spouse.
- View yourself as a partner in ministry with the minister when the church gathers, rather than a consumer of what they provide.
- When the minister does something that blesses you, tell them. When they do something that hacks you off, tell them gently. If the only time a minister hears from you is when you have a complaint…they will have a hard time really hearing you, anyway. Plus, God won't bless a contentious spirit. If they are accustomed to hearing the good from you, the criticism will be heard all the more and taken more seriously, because they know you're not just out to get them.
- Remember the church is large and complex. This is hard for people to remember. The minister feels responsible for the spiritual care of the whole flock, which in many churches, is quite large. Thus, while you may have a strong opinion or a problem going on, others in a church of dozens, hundreds or thousands do as well.
There are lots of other things that could be mentioned. What else would you add?