October is Pastor Appreciation Month. The second Sunday in October is Pastor Appreciation Sunday. Many are unaware of this so I thought I would share some thoughts.
First of all I do hope you expressed your appreciation to your pastor this month in some way. Being a pastor can be be not only challenging but lonely, as well. Being a pastor is one of the most thankless callings, as well. The expectations are high and the demands are oftentimes unrealistic.
A pastor has greater responsibility. Let's look at what James has to say about it.
James 3:1 CSB - Not many should become teachers, my brothers, because you know that we will receive a stricter judgement.
Pastors are held to a higher standard with God. As leaders, teachers and preachers handling the Word of God correctly is imperative. Living a life pleasing to God is imperative. Setting a proper example is very important.
Paul, in writing to Timothy, says that pastors are worthy of double honor.
1 Timothy 5:17 CSB - The elders who are good leaders are to be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who work hard at preaching and teaching.
The key in this verse are those who are good leaders. There are those pastors who are not good leaders and should be dealt with accordingly. They will ultimately answer to God for how they lead, taught and preached the Word.
Everyone likes words of encouragement. Honestly, everyone needs words of encouragement from time to time. Solomon had something to say about this.
Proverbs 25:11 - A word spoken at the right time is like gold apples in silver settings.
When is the last time you spoke words of encouragement to your pastor? Trust me, the pastor hears all the complaints. How about speaking some words of encouragement?
The following question was asked to a group of small church pastors today in regards to Pastor Appreciation Month:
"What actually makes you FEEL the most appreciated?"
Let's look at some of the responses received:
- Honor and recognition for contribution.
- A hand written card in the mail (with or without a gift certificate to my favorite restaurant.
- A call on Tuesday thanking me for the Word delivered on Sunday
- Listening, asking questions, genuinely wanting to obey Christ and serve Him.
- Out of the blue texts saying, "Hey you were on my mind and I'm praying for you".
- Allowing me to become part of their lives instead of just the pastor they greet on Sunday morning. Words and cards of thanks and encouraging through the year.
- A simple invitation to share a meal.
- That I impacted and changed their life! Derailed them from potential disaster.
- A word of affirmation and truly mean it.
- When I see spiritual growth, and desire to serve or take action in the overall process of the church.
- When they call just because they need someone to talk to.
- Them wanting to serve their community beyond what's easy...then I would know they are listening and allowing God to work. That would make my job SO much easier therefore feeling appreciated.
- When they allow you to become a part of their lives the ground feels more even. Walking their journey with them, side by side. Not being set apart because I am their minister but being a part of them because I am their minister.
- When people actually attend or act like they appreciate the sermon the service, etc.
- Testimonies of how my ministry is impacting their lives.
- A vacation.
I think you get the idea. There are so many different ways to encourage pastors today. At the very least speak some words of encouragement to them. We should do this throughout the year not just once a year.
Until next time...enjoy the journey!