October 12, 2015

4 Questions to Ask Your Pastor

With the benediction of God still fresh on my head, I walk to the back of the church meeting room. There, a line of brothers and sisters wait together to speak to the pastor before stepping into the Sunday sunshine. “Good morning,” says one. “Thanks for the sermon, Pastor,” says another. “Would you have time to visit my mom this week?” asks a third. At the end of the line, people with more substantial questions linger, waiting for a chance to ask him about the Apostle Paul’s use of “day of the Lord” or about the process for church membership.

I imagine it’s the same most weeks, and I wonder if that’s what the pastor really wants to talk about. Does he enjoy the jumble of “lovely-weather-we’re-having” and “could-you-explain-this-in-the-Greek”? Or does he secretly wish someone would ask him about his sports team? His library? His soul?

I’m not a pastor, but I happen to know a few, so I surveyed them: “What questions do you want people in your church to ask you?” Their responses were thoughtful, Christ-centered, and certain to benefit the asker just as much as the answerer. They are pastors, after all.

So, for the back door on Sunday morning, or the coffee shop on Tuesday afternoon, here are 4 Questions to Ask Your Pastor (that he really wants to answer):

1. What has been the greatest blessing to your soul recently?

The pastors that I know want to talk about work. Really. They want to talk about prayer and the Bible and the Son’s already-and-not-yet-beautiful bride, the church. Most of all, they want to talk about their Christ. Ask a pastor about his soul, and you will hear about the One his soul loves. And that will do your soul good, too.

2. Sir, what must I do to be saved?

Next to their Lord, pastors also want to talk about you. They want you to ask them how you can apply the fourth point of the sermon to your Monday morning conference call. They want you to be curious about what Jesus has to say about women, about homosexuality, about divorce, and about medical ethics. Mostly, they want you to ask how a sinful person like you can live in joyful communion with a thrice-holy God. Go ahead, make his day.

3. Is there anything that I/the church can do to help you fulfill your ministry?

Maybe he needs someone to make copies of the bulletin. Maybe he needs someone to visit Mrs. Jones. Maybe he needs someone to commit to watching and praying on Saturday nights—when Satan is on the prowl, looking to snatch the Word from the sower’s bag before it even lands on the Sunday morning soil. The work of the church is a whole-body effort, and your pastor needs your help.

4. Pastor, how can I pray for you this week?

The pastor who suggested this question apologized for being too obvious, but I’m not sure it is. Your pastor is certainly praying for you, but are you praying for him? Like Aaron and Hur holding up the drooping arms of Moses (Ex. 17:12), your prayers will encourage your weary pastor and be used by God for the good of his people. All you need to do is ask.

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More in the 4 Questions series:
4 Questions to Ask a Stay-at-Home-Mom
4 Questions to Ask an Older Woman
4 Questions to Ask a Child
4 Questions to Ask College Students

2 comments:

  1. I would suggest that if anyone wants to ask a substantive question (one that takes more than 30 seconds to answer) that they ask "Could I get with you this week pastor to talk to you about _____?" I do want people to engage with substance, but it is hard to answer very difficult questions with no notes (and often not even a Bible in hand) after having just spent myself in a sermon. All this while the line of people (including visitors) backs up in the aisle. I'd much rather have a visit on Monday where we can really discuss things and enjoy a cup of coffee.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Point taken. Though I'm quite sure that if the question were #2, any pastor would stop at any time to answer it, no matter how many people were still in line. :)

      Delete

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