Sunday, October 7, 2012

Pastor Appreciation Month

October is National Pastor (or Clergy) Appreciation Month and at our church we try to do a little something to celebrate our pastors each year. It’s so fun coming up with new ideas every time. ;)

In 1 Timothy 5:17, Paul writes:
“Let the elders who rule well be counted worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in the word and doctrine.” 

Preachers and teachers of the Word have such a great responsibility to the church. They must study the Scriptures and listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit so that everything they present is done accurately and according to God’s will. This takes a lot of dedication, time, sacrifice – and LOVE.

So of course they are worthy of double honor!

Just a Little Bragging on Our Pastors…
I am blessed to be able to say that the pastors of our church are both grounded in the Word and have a sensitivity to the Holy Spirit. They study Scripture and carefully prepare their messages, but they also commit the church service to God and will follow His leading wherever He goes. They have a heart to see the lost saved, and to see the saved grow into disciples.

They love their congregation and it is evident through their teaching, the way they serve the church (often in t-shirts with a shovel in hand) and the way they give of their time (counseling), resources (gifts and assistance) and prayer.  Our pastors don’t just show upon Sundays – they are involved and available to the congregation.

How We Celebrated
Today I was blessed with the opportunity to give our pastors a break and minister to them during the Sunday morning service. Together with several other generous church leaders and volunteers, we put on a regular service, and our pastors only had to show up and enjoy it!

We also snuck in a couple surprises like a video of some church members expressing appreciation and a special time of music ministry by some of our talented members. Then we followed up the service with treats and fellowship in the lobby. It went so well! Most of all, our pastors were reminded of how much we love them.

Thank YOUR Pastor
Appreciation is an act of love and humility toward another. It shows a person you notice the effort they put forth and acknowledge their value. This is important to do anywhere, but especially in relationships that involve a healthy level of dependency – like within the church.

It is also important to show appreciation regularly, not just once a year (although a yearly event is a good excuse to make a big deal of it!).

Here are some ways to show appreciation to pastors any day of the year:

1) Shake the pastor’s hand after service and tell him/her what you appreciated about the message.
2) Call them just to pray for them.
3) Send an email, Facebook message or text message with a short and sincere thanks.
4) Give a gift or card, just because.
5) Bless your pastor and family with a dinner out.
6) Volunteer at the church – your participation shows support.
7) Pray for your pastors.
8) Sit next to them at the next potluck and learn something new about them.
9) Offer to serve his/her family in some way: babysit, yard work, bring meals when someone is ill, etc.
10) Acknowledge days that are special to your pastor – birthday, anniversary, anniversary at the church.

Whatever you do, be sincere and make it personal. A little love can go a long way!