How Can We Welcome Our New Preacher?

Email from last week: I recently got turned to your blog so I hope you will understand if you have written on the subject but I did not read it. We recently completed our preacher search and are looking forward to welcoming the new preacher and his wife. We are doing a meal, but do you have any suggestions about fun ways to tell them about us and let him share information about him? We are a small 30-member congregation. Thank you for all your work!

Thank you for reading my blog.

You are thoughtful in considering how to welcome your new preacher. It doesn’t take much to make a good first impression.

Here’s something I found and filed: Click to read: Welcoming a new preacher.

I remember our first full-time work. They pounded us. Members brought grocery items. It helped us get started with less strain on our budget.

Continue to remember your preacher and his family.

If your preacher is like me, preaching is his job, his hobby, and his pastime. If he doesn’t get appreciation and affirmation from the church, he doesn’t get it.

I suggest a “party” each year on the anniversary of his coming, with a little extra on the 5th, 10th, and 15th anniversaries. I see salesmen, managers, and others in the business world who have gold pins with diamonds, and some who get cruises for longevity and excellence in their work. I ask them why their company wastes money on those things. They assure me it isn’t a waste. They are encouraged by the recognition and work harder and smarter as a result.

I often ask if that would work for preachers. I can assure you it does. I tried preaching with and without encouragement. Work with encouragement is better.

And it’s not only is true of preachers. It’s true of everyone. I encourage “parties” (times and ways of recognition) for everyone: elders, deacons, teachers, and people who work behind the scenes who rarely get recognized.

Thank you for your concern and asking me. I think this may become a blog post.

If you would, let me know how this works for your new preacher and what new ideas you and your church came up with.

May God bless you and him as you work together.

For future plans, the best gift I was ever given as a preacher was a three-month sabbatical. That’s something you might consider in about seven years.

Here are two blog posts that might be interesting:

Click to read: 9 Ways to Encourage Your Preacher:

Click to read: Trade Your Preacher for a Better One!:

Another idea. You mentioned suggestions to get to know each other better.

I bought The Ungame for our family vacation last summer and we used it again at Christmas. It was invented by a lady who lost her voice for several months. She started thinking of all she wished she had asked her family when she could talk. She started writing questions for her family to answer. Other people learned about it and asked for copies. As a result, she has several sets of The Ungame available.

You can get it from Amazon: The Ungame.

What suggestions do you have for welcoming and getting to know a new preacher and his family?


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Jerrie Barber
Servant of Jesus, husband to Gail, father to Jerrie Wayne Barber, II and Christi Parsons, grandfather, great-grandfather, Interim Preacher, Shepherd coach, Ventriloquist, barefoot runner, ride a cruiser bicycle

2 Responses to “How Can We Welcome Our New Preacher?

  • Jim Gammon
    2 years ago

    One of the best things a congregation can do to “welcome” a new preacher is provide time to become “acclimated.” This should include:
    1. Time to organize his library and office, (plan and develop to some degree) his first 6 months preaching.
    2. Time to visit most of the shut-ins before beginning his preaching/teaching.
    3. Time to visit with the Elders, Deacons, and adult Bible teachers in their homes before preaching (otherwise you are just shoving him in the deep end of the pool with the weight of ignorance on his feet and no life preserver).
    4. A statement to the congregation by a solidly “unified on this point” eldership that this is an investment in a carefully selected man.
    5. Developing his study and devotional time each day which will be announced by the Elders as a “do not disturb” time (again this is an investment in a man who otherwise will be seen as someone sitting in the office twiddling his thumbs and just waiting for the latest member to interrupt him)

    • Jim,

      Good, practical suggestions.

      Observation: usually a preacher has a “funeral” at his previous congregation on one Sunday. He and his family are saying goodbye to people who have become family to them. It is difficult to part with people we love.

      During the week, they finish packing, load the truck, move and arrive a the new congregation during the week.

      The following Sunday he is expected to be happy and excited at his new congregation.

      Your suggestions offer a pleasant alternative that could work to the benefit of the new preacher and congregation.

      Thank you for your thoughts and sharing them.

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