Search for a perfect pastor

In Search of the “Perfect” Pastor

Pastors are People, Too

Our church has just begun the adventure of searching for a new pastor. It’s a daunting job when you look for the perfect pastor. Basically, because there are no perfect pastors because pastors are people, too.

Pastors Are People Too

We tend to forget that pastors are people, too. We put them up on a pedestal that no one can live up too, thinking that they have it all together spiritually, emotionally, and physically. It is assumed that they never get hurt or tired. They never get in a spat with their spouse. As a pastor’s wife, I’m here to tell you that pastors are people, too. They are real human beings just like you and me. And they have strengths and weaknesses. All of them need love and especially grace.

Regardless of whether your church is in search of a new pastor. I’d like to challenge you to take a step back and lower the pedestal that you have him on and look at him as a real person. Someone that has life challenges and emotional struggles, just like you. Someone who may not have it all together as much as you think. And then love him just the same.

A Book for Every Church Board Member

I recently picked up a book with an intriguing title, Pastors Are People, Too: What They Won’t Tell You But You Need to Know by Jimmy Dodd and Larry Magnusan.  Jimmy heads up a wonderful ministry for pastors that your church should opt into, called PastorServe. PastorServe offers counseling for pastors, retreats for pastors and their spouse, and also, will come alongside the church to help your church be the most supportive congregation.

If you are in search of a pastor, it’s a great time to access how you have been supporting your pastor and this book will guide you in making adjustments to serve him/her better. But even if you have a great pastor, this book can help you adjust the benefits you have set up and remind you to be sure that your pastor is taking advantage of all that you offer him. Many pastors do not feel it is their place to ask for a raise or even take a vacation that is coming to them. You must insist that they do these things for his and the church’s benefit. On that point, when is the last time you gave him a raise? Would you be happy if it has been that long since you received a raise at work?

Pastor Benefits and Appreciation

This book will most certainly help you realize all the areas in his life that you have assumed are in order for your pastor.  To name a few:

  • Debt Management
  • Time Management
  • Personal Finances
  • Marriage enrichment
  • many of the things we all need more training in

What About the Spouse and Children?

Now personally, while many spouses do not feel the same, I feel called as a pastor’s wife as much as my husband is called to be a pastor. However, there is no training for being a pastor’s wife. But many churches expect her to play the piano, to teach a certain class, to lead the women, open her home to the people and the list goes on. Some spouses work outside the church often to provide insurance and extra funds to live on. They  may be called to something other than just being there for the church.

Honestly, at little love and care on the pastor’s family goes a long, long way. They give up a lot because of the position their spouse/dad holds. More than you know, trust me on that. And a pastor will work hard for you if you will just love his family.


Don’t skip the appendices in this book. They are of the most value. In fact, it will take you far to read just the last chapter on how to deal with conflict (good for anyone to learn) and the appendices.

A – A Vision of a Healthy Church

B – Praying for your Pastor (includes 30 days of prayers)

C – Thirty-Five Practical Way to Lovingly Support Your Pastor. (I wrote my own post on this a while back)

As a retired pastor’s wife, I urge you to pick up this book today. Maybe get a dozen of them for the church board.

Still serving Christ,

Mandy Farmer

Are you a Pastor or spouse dealing with hurt from the church?

Join my FB page, Joy in the Wilderness for a little love and support from others in the same position. Click the image below to join.

joy in the wilderness pastor


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Pastor appreciation

October is Pastor Appreciation Month

Having been in the ministry, I have conflicting feelings about Pastor Appreciation month. On the one hand,  it is a very good reminder to the people to take a moment and let their pastor know how much you love them. On the other hand, it can be a very depressing time when a pastor hears about all the things other churches did for their pastor and your church did nothing at all to show that they love & appreciate you!

Now that my husband has retired from full-time ministry, I’ve decided that it wouldn’t be self-serving to remind everyone to take some time and really show your pastor that you appreciate him. Church members, you don’t have to wait to be prompted by your board to do something, do it on your own, or at least remind the board members so they don’t forget. Get some personal ideas here.

Maybe you don’t realize the sacrifices made by pastors AND their families.

There are many.

Pastoral families have left home and family to come and serve your church. They may be 100s or even 1000s of miles away from home. On top of that, they are seldom able to go home to see their families. They may even miss important events, like reunions and funerals, due to their service to you.

In many cases, pastors are paid a minimal salary which barely meets their living expenses, even when a parsonage is provided.

In order to get a degree and ordination in ministry, a minimum of 4-6 years is required at a private Christian University. Many times pastors are in serious debt before they even get started. They probably met their spouse at college, so they both have a lot of college debt to pay on that minimal salary.

Many pastors have a compassionate heart and they give much to the church financially and time-wise.

Pastors are on call 24/7. They have missed many family meals and their kid’s ballgames due to a need within the church. I have known many, ourselves included, who have canceled vacations, even after they left home, due to a need in the church.

These are just a few of the sacrifices made by your pastor and why you should show a little appreciation, personally and corporately, once in a while.

So …. maybe you are wondering,

pastor appreciation
photo credit: Canva modified by Mandy

I’m glad you asked!

I did a little survey of all my ministry friends. I asked them, “What is the best thing a church has ever done for you?” and here are their replies…

Top Ideas

Cash is always good.  Cash helps pay a few bills that they might be coming short on. Also, since Christmas is just around the corner, it may help them provide a nice Christmas for their children.

Dowload a long list of ideas at the bottom of this post.

Things to remember:

  1.  If at all possible, don’t wait until the last Sunday in October to plan your special day. Do it early and he will be more surprised. When you wait until the last week, it kinda feels like you forgot and pulled something together at the last moment.
  2. Remember your associate pastors too. They may be bi-vocational or not, but they put in a lot of unknown hours to work with your teens, create awesome worship, or whatever ministry they do.
  3.  Don’t forget any retired pastors or widows of pastors. A small token gift will go a long way for those no longer in ministry. Sometimes, they feel completely forgotten even though they have served for many years.

Have fun with this. Remember that a little appreciation and encouragement goes a long way. Click here for another post on “Ways to Love Your Pastor all Year Long!

Mandy Farmer

Print this list of ideas

Download here!AvYzm3ypL78DiQgsWurHm5gjwSgS

Suggested reading, especially for church board members.

Disclaimer: Some of the links on this page may be affiliate links. If you click through them and purchase the item, we will receive a small commission at no cost to you. Thank you for your support.

Pastor appreciation

UNAPPRECIATED ~ 3 Actions to Change Your Heart

A Bottle of Bath Wash.

Who doesn’t enjoy the wonderful smell and the softness obtained from using it?

But it seemed precious little payment for the hours on end that I spent learning and perfecting the wedding music chosen for this wedding and the entire weekend my husband and I gave for rehearsal, decorating, flower deliveries and, of course, the wedding itself.

Have you ever felt unappreciated?

It’s easy to fall into the trap. We work hard to do our best and no one notices, maybe they even criticize our hard work. I’ve experienced that before!

But, remember my pastor’s wife, Charlotte, who taught me so much in the beginning? She brought home the truth one day while we were talking. She did it gently by suggesting that I make the time and hard work my gift to the bride and groom.

The truth of the matter is that it was my attitude that needed adjusting.

The big question is, “Who am I serving?”

God’s Word says,

So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. 1 Corinthians 10:31

You see, I had my priorities upside down.

I wasn’t doing all that preparation out of love for the couple (or God). I was doing it for my glory. To receive praise or a few dollars. And when it didn’t pay off, I was upset. No wonder I felt unappreciated.

It was time for an attitude adjustment. I needed a heart transplant. My heart of self-service needed changing out for a heart of service.

As we come to the end of October (Pastor’s Appreciation Month), perhaps some of us are needing a heart transplant. Maybe we feel unappreciated this year. It is possible we feel what was given was too little and too late causing us to wonder if it was all quickly put together at the last minute.

pastor appreciation
photo credit: Canva modified by Mandy

Here are a few ways that I have found to make an attitude adjustment.

Three Steps to Avoid Feeling Unappreciated

Look Up

Look up to God Realize how much He loves me and does for me. Thank Him for all the blessings He has given me even when I don’t deserve it.

Look Around

Look around at all those who are serving with me. This would include associates, widowed pastors/spouses, retired ministers, and their spouse. Send a handwritten card or note expressing your appreciation for them and what they do. Remember that joy comes in giving more than in receiving.

Make Pastor Appreciation Month truly a Pastor’s Appreciation of Others.

Look Back

Remember those who have paved the way for me. Write a note to the pastors and wives in my life that have encouraged me along the way.

Also, don’t forget the leaders above me. In our church, there is a District Superintendent that guides all the churches in our state. I’m sure he would accept a little appreciation, as well.

Next year, try entering the month of appreciation doing these things. I think you will find a greater feeling of joy over your situation.

Feeling Grateful!

Mandy Signature
Savannah, GA
Love your pastor all year long

How to Love Your Pastor All Year Long

Does your Church Have a Special Day for Pastor in October?

I’m hoping that your church does remember the pastor(s) during Pastor Appreciation Month. If not, I hope that you remembered to reach out to him personally. If you haven’t, it’s actually not too late. The truth is, we really should love our pastor all year long. Pastors are usually far from home and family. They need you to be their family and friend.

The truth is, we really should love our pastor all year long.

Pastors are usually far from home and family. They need you to be their family and friend.

Four decades of pastoral ministry is a pretty good perspective from which to share some thoughts with you on how to love your pastor all year long. You might think, “Hey, we had pastor appreciation day. Isn’t that enough?”

Isn’t Pastor Appreciation Day Enough?

Now, anytime is a good time to express appreciation for our pastors. You and I know; however, that unless we put some things on the calendar, they just never seem to happen.

So, someone did just that by designating the month of October as the time for local churches to show their pastors that they are appreciated.

Pastors and their families live under incredible pressures today.

Their lives are played out in a fishbowl, with the entire congregation and community watching their every move.

They are expected to

  • have ideal families,
  • be perfect people,
  • always be available,
  • never be down and
  • of course, have all the answers we need to keep our own lives stable and moving forward.

Those are unrealistic expectations to place on anyone, yet

most of us are disappointed when a pastor

  •  becomes overwhelmed,
  • seems depressed,
  • lets us down
  • even preaches a bad sermon or
  • subsequently, completely burns out.

That’s why God has instructed us to recognize His servants.

“The elders who direct the affairs of the church well are worthy of double honor, especially those whose work is preaching and teaching” (1 Timothy 5:17 NJKV).

It’s always a good thing when church boards plan a special day for pastors in October for the entire church.

Believe me, this means so much to pastors!

Here are a few meaningful ways you can Love Your Pastor All Year Long:

  1. Love his family. Remember their anniversaries and birthdays. Not only his birthday but his wife and children as well. This should include the anniversary of his arrival and other events such as his ordination.
  2. Make his family part of your family. Whenever you have something happening in your family, include the pastor’s family. Invite them to special family events. Invite them to your family reunions, graduations, etc. This is how you will build a friendship and cause them to feel loved and important.
  3. Get to know him and his family personally. Establish a real friendship. Invite them to join you for lunch or other activities. Your pastor is a person, too. He would love to just get out and play golf, or go to a ball game. Many pastoral wives and children are very lonely. They feel like they have no friends. When they are out among others, they feel separated because “They are the pastor’s wife/kid”. Try just being a friend. You might find you like them! 🙂
  4. Give words of encouragement. Send a card or make a call occasionally when you are inspired by his sermon or are impressed by something he does. It would surprise them if you just called to see how they are or just to chat.
  5. And discourage any negative talk about him. When you hear others cutting him down, stand up for him or at least stop the negative talk.
  6. Finally, and most importantly, pray for him and tell him you are praying for him. Your pastor has troubles and needs prayer just like you. Pray for him often. Pray that God will bless his studies, his preaching, but also pray for him emotionally, financially, physically, personally. He has the same issues in life that you have.

Your pastor needs to be loved throughout the year. Be sure to think of him all year long, not just in October. Put a monthly reminder on your calendar if needed.


Mandy Farmer

Check out this Facebook page that will send you daily prayers.