Bible Verse: “…acknowledge those who work hard among you, who care for you in the Lord and who admonish you. Hold them in the highest regard in love because of their work. Live in peace with each other.” (1 Thessalonians 5:12-13)

One of my favourite experiences with my pastor was when I took him ice fishing. I was a new leader in the church and the pastor was a spiritual mentor to me. I often watched as people were constantly bidding for his time.

So, one day I called and asked if we could spend a few hours together just the two of us, and my son. I made it very clear that I didn’t have a hidden agenda, I simply wanted to spend some time together as guys.

When he agreed, I told him that he should bundle up because it would be cold. I picked him up from his home early in the morning promising to have him back at noon. It was a great time of conversation as we drove the back roads of Sask. before taking an exit that led to the boat launch. We slowly drove past the launch and continued on the ice to the middle of the lake where a group of people had already set up shop and were engaged in trying to catch the big one.

I went to a spot where we would be alone and stopped the pickup. When we got out, I handed him and my son an ice auger with a few simple directions “We need 4 holes and they need to be spread out.” It wasn’t long after the final hole was dug and our lines in the water that our first fish was on. I let my pastor reel in the line. He was so excited, his very first fish.

As the fish came through the hole the line broke. Without thinking I grabbed the fish before it was able to go back down into the lake. The three of us laughed so much that day… it was at that moment, when I saw the look in his eyes, that I realized my pastor was a real person too.

One of the greatest gifts you can give your pastor is to take them out for a couple of hours with no agenda. Have fun, get creative, and find ways to laugh. Let them know they are real people too.

— Terence Rolston, President, Focus on the Family Canada

Further Reading: Hebrews 13:15-17

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