Tip 6. Celebrate Them. When was the last time you told your Parish Priest that you appreciate all the hard work and service that they have given to the parish? Once in a while, take a few minutes to give them the recognition they deserve. ********* Ministry is stressful, and burnout is a constant danger. The people who run your parish need your prayers, your help, and reminders of your love and appreciation. They say, “A happy wife – a happy life! My experience is, “A happy priest – a happy parish!” When a priest feels supported, appreciated, and encouraged, they are far better able to live their vocations with authenticity and fervour. As Catholic Archbishop of Portland, John Vlazny once wrote, “We priests are only human. The more welcome and supported we feel, the more effective we will be in carrying out our ministry.” Finally, remember that Jesus makes Himself present to us in a special way through His priests so whatever you do for your priest, you also do for the Lord, and whatever you do for the Lord helps to build the Kingdom of God right here! (newcastleanglican.org.au)
Tip 5. Free Them. Don’t expect your Parish Priests to do everything. (Yes, even YOU can share your faith!) One of their roles is to equip YOU for ministry. Before you ask them to do something, ask yourself, “Is there something God is calling me to do?” Discuss it with them. Free your Parish Priest so that they can have their time to minister the Gospel of Jesus Christ. • START BY ASKING your leaders where they need help. Let them know you are interested in getting involved. • SERVE! How many volunteers does it take to run a church? No one knows, because no church has ever had enough. • USE YOUR GIFTS. Romans 11:29 says, “For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable,” they are also non-transferrable. They are ‘your’ gifts and callings, not the Priest’s. But when you don’t do your job, they have to try to pick up the slack. So use your gifts, whatever it is that you have been gifted to do, talk about it with the Parish Priest and then make a commitment to doing it.
Tip 4. Support Them. Being a leader of a local church is one of the hardest and most complicated jobs in the world. It requires extraordinary leadership, a deft hand at playing politics (every church has them), and a tender heart. No Parish Priest can do it alone. They need help. Your help. Anything you can do to let them know that they are not alone, and can rely on you is helpful indeed.
Come with Solutions: Parish Priests get lots of parishioners bringing suggestions of ways to build the parish and their faith and this can be overwhelming. But if you come and say ‘here’s my suggestion and this is how I can help you make it happen,’ that really helps to open up a priest’s mind and heart to the possibility – work as a team!
Don’t do business before or after Church: Let worship be the Parish Priest’s focus on Sundays, especially before the service begins. Preaching and leading in worship require an enormous amount of physical, emotional, and spiritual energy. (newcastleanglican.org.au)
Tip 3. Love Them. Being a Priest is a bit like being a parent. Work, vocation, passion and duty are all rolled into one. Like mums who get praised for a great Christmas dinner or dads for a great barbeque, but don’t get applauded every time the laundry is folded, priests are recognised for the big events, but not always for the smaller things. “But we appeal to you, brothers and sisters, to respect those who labour among you, and have charge of you in the Lord and admonish you;
esteem them very highly in love because of their work.
Be at peace among yourselves.” 1 Thessalonians 5:12-13 (newcastleanglican.org.au)
Tip 2. Encourage Them. Being a Parish Priest is more than writing sermons and having coffee with people. It’s doing funerals of toddlers; it’s counselling adulterous couples; it’s praying for a mother who was just diagnosed with breast cancer; it’s working on cost-efficient building plans. Shepherding the people of God is hard work; it’s a high calling for a reason. The Parish Priest never feels that they are good enough at their work and no matter how much work they do, there is always more to be done. It is refreshing when church members talk about the impact that their ministry is having on their lives and what they are learning and how the Lord is growing them. It encourages their heart greatly. (newcastleanglican.org.au)
Tip 1. Parish Priests pray for the church, but who prays for them? Our Parish Priests are at the top of the hit list for Satan, our enemy. After all, they are entrusted with making decisions for the Church, teaching and preaching the Word of God, caring for the needs of our congrega- tions, and working to bring salvation to the unsaved. They are the leadership of the church, and leaders are always the target in a battle. The Lord hears the prayers of people, and the Lord cares for the lead- ers of people; so remember to pray for your Parish Priest. Pray that God will bless them, their ministry, and your church. Pray for their emotional wellbeing, their physical strength, and their spiritual well- ness. This is the most important thing you can do to help your parish. If you aren’t already in the habit of doing this, now is a good time to start. (newcastleanglican.org.au)