According to Dr. Richard J. Krejcir,1500 pastors leave the ministry each month, 50% of pastor's marriages will end in divorce, 70% constantly fight depression, and 40% have had an extra-marital affair since beginning their ministry.
(Stay with me, I'm getting to the writing part of this post. But I think it's important to share these startling statistics.)
According to Focus on the Family, 70% of pastors state they don't have close personal friends or anyone in whom they can confide. Most pastors work 60-70 hours a week and great demands are placed upon them and their families. 80% of pastors say ministry negatively affects their families. As a pastor's wife, and mother of of pastor's kids, I can say this is extremely true. Two of our children highly resent growing up as a pastor's child, and it breaks my heart. Not because of what we as parents expected of them, but because of how they were treated by church members.
I recently had the privilege of speaking one on one with a prominent evangelist's daughter, and she confirmed this. "Mother and Daddy never put any pressure on us, but other people did because of whose children we were."
So what does all of this have to do with you as a writer?
Words are incredibly powerful and you've been given a precious responsibility. Writing a card or letter is just as important as anything else you will publish.You can use your gift of words to write a personal letter or note card for your pastor to take home and enjoy. Your written words will last a very long time, perhaps a lifetime. My husband keeps all his cards and letters and even puts some of them under the glass top on his desk. They are fuel for when the going gets tough.
Here are a few more ways to use your writing gift to show your pastor you appreciate them:
- E-mail your pastor an encouraging note each day of October.
- Text your pastor each day with an encouraging text. (I'm planning a "text mob" for my husband and have the congregation send him loving texts all on the same day.)
- Write an encouraging note or text or email to your pastor's kids.
- Write a tribute on the church's Facebook wall, your wall, the pastor's wall or use other social media to sing the praises of your pastor.
- I have a friend who owns her own store and she uses her store window to write encouraging
- If you attend a small church and the pastor's wife does a lot of the administration (typing bulletin, newsletter, etc.) offer to help her for a month -- or year!
- Use your writing gift to encourage the congregation to love their pastor. Send them each a note and suggest ideas.
- Write a letter to the editor extolling the virtues of your pastor.
- Write a prayer that your congregation can pray daily for your pastor and his family.
- Write a poem for your pastor (or a song).
- Write a skit about the gift of a pastor and recruit your friends to act it out. It can be funny or serious. (We did one years back called "Super Pastor" and it was hilarious.)
- Write a note telling your pastor something you learned from a sermon. That will knock his socks off!
- Write up some coupons for your pastor such as "a night out with childcare" -- get creative.
- Write a tribute to his wife. She needs encouragement too.
Therefore encourage one another and build each other up...
Thessalonians 5:11a, NIV
Karla Akins is the award-winning author of The Pastor's Wife Wears Biker Boots. She's been a pastor's wife for more than 32 years. You can find Karla via her website and blog at KarlaAkins.com
All images in this post are public domain or provided/created by the author.