I was at my grandson’s eighth-grade football game when the referee indicated there was a penalty and stopped play. Apparently, after the ball was thrown, the boy who passed it was tackled, prompting a penalty flag. The announcer from the press box said: “There is a flag on the field. The penalty is roughing the pastor . . . I mean, roughing the passer.” As soon as he said it, I thought to myself, God could give that penalty to some churches today!

It’s not that pastors are perfect. If that is what we are looking for, then pastorless churches would be the norm. It’s that God calls on us to honor those who lead us spiritually, particularly “those who labor in preaching and teaching” (1 Tim. 5:17 ESV). In my opinion, pastoring is one of the hardest occupations on the planet. We live in a sophisticated, fast-paced, and complex world, and our expectations for “high-performance” pastors often set the bar at unattainable heights.

So, let’s switch the focus and become high-performance church members who honor our pastors with words of encouragement and prayer. A supportive note or a “thank you” in the foyer will go a long way to stimulate pastors to serve with joy and efficiency.