What a challenging time these last 18 months have been for the local church! If your church is open and intact, you likely have a pastor who’s experienced more gut-wrenching challenges than you will ever hear about. On top of that, very few people will ever ask how they are handling it all. Most church members assume their pastors will always hang in there, no matter what challenges come at them. Statistics show otherwise. Many seasoned (and young) pastors are quitting church ministry permanently from burnout and frustration as support from members continues to shrink from recent pandemic shutdowns.
Men, you are needed in the Church – especially in your local church. Your pastor needs to know you have their back. The bench in the church is not very deep right now. I talk to other pastors frequently who basically say the same thing: “I don’t actually know anymore who is still committed to our church and wants to help us fully open.” This is not a healthy trend for the Church Jesus founded.
But we can fix this.
Your pastor needs you. From Scripture, we see that men have always needed help from others to do what God asks them to do. Moses had Aaron and Hur. David had Jonathan and some “mighty men.” Elijah had Elisha. Paul had Barnabas, Silas, Epaphroditus, Titus, Timothy and others. Jesus had 12 disciples. It seems the more urgent and spiritual the work is, the more vital it is to have quality help. This means dependable men need to step forward.
Here are two things you can do that will help your pastor immensely:
1. Begin serving and continue serving in your church.
One of the saddest things to see in a church is a shortage of men who are willing to volunteer and serve. Pastors need help right now, especially in small churches with limited or no paid staff. We can’t leave all the difficult church tasks to our wives, mothers, and other women. In any other era, this would be unacceptable to men.
Men are at their best when they step forward and tackle the hard things and physical things that require sweat equity. Sure, women do a great job at this too…but it shouldn’t be all left up to them because men have disengaged from their church.
If God has your heart, he should also get your head, hands, and feet. After all, it’s your church too. Most likely, your pastor has a backlog of urgent chores that must be done. There are likely maintenance issues and light renovation jobs that have been neglected and need assigned to willing hearts. Let yours be one of them.
If God has your heart, he should also get your head, hands, and feet.
Here’s a fun experiment: Meet with your pastor and ask what you can do around the church building to help. Tell him God has put it on your heart to get some work done and help him out. When you do this, I highly recommend you bring a buddy along to stand behind him to catch him. Some pastors are prone to fainting at sudden good news. I promise you he will spend the rest of the week rejoicing that God has brought you to his aid.
Take a good look around the church property and start assessing what needs to be painted, cleaned out, or fixed up. Walk the property line and see what’s been neglected in the landscaping or yard. Is the sign in disrepair? Your heart may be so stirred that you begin to ask other men in the church to help you tackle these tasks. Bring your plan to your pastor and tell him what your team is willing to do. Again, please beware of the fainting issue.
“For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Mark 10:45 (ESV)
2. Begin giving and continue giving to your church.
Ministry doesn’t happen for free, nor is it cheap. Somebody must pay for it. Much like the wonderful grace of God; it’s free, but it certainly didn’t come cheap. Jesus stepped up and paid for it on the cross. Real men who follow the real Jesus get this.
God modelled generosity by sending Jesus to save us. Jesus modelled generosity by giving his life. We model generosity by supporting his Church, which he dearly loves. We invest in it and support it consistently because Jesus does. He founded it, gave it a mission, and empowered it. 2,000 years later, it’s still what God uses today to reach a world in need.
If you want God to use you immediately, start being a financial supporter of your local church. Ask yourself the tough question, “Am I a regular, faithful giver or just an occasional tipper?” There is a difference, both in impact and obedience to Christ.
God is worthy of our best, not just the occasional stipend or tip. You can hash this out theologically with your own pastor and a Bible, but threshold giving is mentioned all through Scripture. Threshold giving, or tithing, is when you decide in your heart to give a percentage regularly and not look back. This will require faith – which is the point.
God is worthy of our best, not just the occasional stipend or tip.
We tend to keep our hearts attached to our treasures (Matthew 6:21), and when we begin giving regularly, we enter a new level of trusting God. You will discover that giving has a two-fold blessing attached – it blesses the giver as well as the receiver. Consistent givers are a blessing because they fund the impact God wants their church to have. If it’s your church, your generosity should support it. Don’t make somebody else pick up the tab after your spiritual meals.
“Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” 2 Corinthians 9:7 (ESV)
Men: God needs you. His Church needs you. And your pastor would love to hear from you.