October is traditionally “Pastor Appreciation Month”. Many churches celebrate this month honoring their pastors and staff while others celebrate it some other time of the year. Unfortunately, there are many churches who do not recognize their pastors and staff at all. As a former church planter/pastor, I cherished the times in when our churches showed kindness towards Claren and me. It made us feel appreciated for the work that God called us to do.
Pastoral ministry is not like any other vocation because most of what a pastor does is not seen publicly. Everyone knows that he only works only one day a week, maybe two if there’s a Wednesday night prayer meeting. However, a faithful pastor does so much more. He visits; he calls, he texts; he emails; he preaches; he teaches, he prays for the flock; he travels to where members and non-members are; and I could go on.
However, COVID has made the pastors’ task much more stressful and different. Each one has had to work with church leadership to decide whether or not to meet, how often, and when to reopen. The pastor has not been able to visit in the hospitals and nursing and private homes as is his custom. Special events like revivals, homecomings, VBS, and other gatherings have been postponed or rescheduled. Honestly, it’s been a super stressful time for our pastors.
As Pickens Baptist Association churches, take time this year to remember and appreciate your pastors. Here are just a few ways that you can celebrate them:
- Pray for them. It sounds easy, but prayer is hard work. Pray for his family, his ministry, and his health. Pastoral Ministry is one of the most stressful jobs in the world. Look it up!
- Encourage them. Write him a card; send him a text or an email; tell him face-to-face that you appreciate him and his ministry.
- Stand by his family. Most pastors leave churches and the ministry because of the treatment of their families. If a pastor’s wife and/or children are not loved and appreciated why would a pastor want to stay?
- Recognize your pastor and his family in October or some other time during the year. Make them feel special because they are special. They are YOUR pastoral family!
- Give the pastor a special gift. It doesn’t have to be a financial gift. It could be a date night, a baby-sitting night, a special dinner, but something that lets them know that they are a blessing to your church. These are just a few ideas. Be creative and think of ways to remember your pastor and the ways that he serves your church. As Paul said, “…esteem very highly in love….”
Until Next Month,