Holy week begins on Sunday, April 1…and that’s no joke. Palm Sunday through Easter Sunday is considered the holiest week of the year for Christians and the busiest week of the year for pastors. And…if you’re a solo pastor it is even busier (not to say pastoral teams are not busy or have it easy).
So with this busy week coming up I wanted to give you (the people sitting in the pews) a little heads up.
Your pastor WILL be busy…
…and maybe a little stressed and maybe a little over-tired. There are a bunch of worship services to plan, details to line up, multiple sermons to write and maybe some small group studies to lead (among other things).
So with all this craziness that is coming up I wanted to clue you in on the top ten ways you can support your pastor during this busy and crazy week. These are not necessarily time tested things but from where I sit I think they would work…because I wouldn’t mind them. So here we go (in no particular order…and…definitely not an exhaustive list):
(1) Stop by your pastor’s office sometime and ask them: Have you taken some time for yourself today? If the answer is no then as a person from the congregation whose offerings help pay their salary, gently encourage them to go for a little walk ~ 10 to 15 minutes at least. Anything to just get outside and clear their head. Tell them you’re doing this because you care about them. And…if it’s raining then be a little flexible about the outside walking part.
(2) Drop by your pastor’s office with a cup of coffee (or their favorite drink) and let them know that you are praying for them (and actually be doing so before you stop by).
(3) Drop by your pastor’s office with a cup of coffee (or their favorite drink) and offer to do devotions with them. Sometimes we forget to spend time in personal prayer and/or scripture reading during Holy Week because of everything else on our plate. Have something planned and them pray over them before you leave.
(4) Volunteer to help with something such as: Read scripture for a worship service; help set up the sanctuary; make some phone calls; help with the Easter breakfast; basically…offer to help remove something from your pastor’s to-do list so they can spend more time preparing for worship and proclamation.
(5) If you have small children, bring them in sometime and instruct them to run into your pastor’s office and give them a big hug. But make sure your pastor isn’t on the phone or having a private conversation with someone before sending the kids in.
(6) Have I mentioned the coffee part (that is if your pastor likes coffee)?
(7) Remind your pastor to spend quality time with their family. Your pastor’s family may “understand” the craziness of Holy Week but it doesn’t mean they don’t want to see their husband/father.
(8) If you see your pastor around town and they don’t wave at you or say “hi”…be patient. They are not trying to be rude. Sometimes when there is much to do we have a tendency to put blinders on and get really focused on the task at hand.
(9) Get a group of people together, stop by your pastor’s office and sing some Easter hymns (kind of like Christmas caroling). Now how can someone not smile at that.
(10) If your pastor is doing a good job, then take some time to let them know.
Once again, this is not an exhaustive list but just some ideas to help your pastor relax and enjoy this week. For me…this is my favorite time of the year. Maundy Thursday and Good Friday always give me goose bumps when I think about why Jesus would go through all that for me. And Easter…well…that is just awesome. I may be exhausted on Easter Sunday afternoon, but every single year I say to myself “It was worth it”.
God bless you this Easter season and may you know the joy of Jesus Christ died and risen FOR YOU.
Praise be to God!