Yet, another reason October is an exceptional month is… it is Pastor Appreciation Month (and, more specifically, October 9th is Pastor Appreciation Day)! Many people are guilty of taking their pastors for granted – and, I have surely been a part of this group as well. We get up on Sunday mornings, stretch, grumble about needing more sleep, and then fill our pews. Then, we sing, listen to a sermon, take good notes (hopefully), and then head home for the day.
But, Sundays are different for our pastors and their families. For them, Sunday is a work day. From the time they rise until they return home again, they are on the clock. Many have a word to say to the pastor; and, in addition to delivering God’s Word to his flock, he greets people, encourages people, jokes around with people, and pours out his energy all over the place. And, that is okay. He probably wants to engage with church members, but this frequent interaction likely taxes his psychological and emotional reserves.
What is heartbreaking is the backlash which pastors receive from the flock they are trying to faithfully shepherd. Most pastors could deal with the responsibility and the workload if they did not also have to deal with constant complaints, unrealistic expectations, gossip amongst the body, and unjustified anger.
Pastors Have Such an Awesome Responsibility
When I am on the praise team for the week, I have the opportunity to glance at our pastor as he waits to deliver his sermon. He spends that time in prayer and, though I cannot hear him, I believe he is asking the Lord to speak to the congregation through the preaching of His Word, for wisdom, and for the Holy Spirit’s guidance. When I look at him, I see a man who cares deeply about preaching the truth. Some pastors jump up and give any ol’ sermon with very little concern or preparation involved; yet, many pastors pour their hearts and souls into equipping their people to go out into the world and make disciples.
Pastors have such a huge responsibility before God and they need us to encourage and pray for them. They need this all year long; but, at least once a year, we can step it up and show them how much they mean to us.
With Pastor Appreciation Day coming up this Sunday, consider showing your pastor what a blessing he is to your life. Here are some ideas:
- Write him a note detailing specific ways you are praying for him.
- Buy him a special gift – or a gift for his family.
- Take him and his family out to dinner – or give them a gift card to their favorite restaurant.
- If he has young children, offer to babysit so he can take his wife on a date.
- Take up a collection from church members and present a financial gift to him.
- Plan to have a few people come forward on Sunday to offer the pastor special thanks and some encouraging words (make sure the other church leadership know you’re going to do this first!).
Some other ways to bless your pastor throughout the year:
- Pray for him and his family daily.
- Refuse to involve yourself in any gossip about the church, the pastor, or church leadership decisions.
- Speak to him kindly and directly instead of complaining about him or church issues behind his back.
- When you see him coming, greet him with an encouraging word instead of expecting one from him.
If you are blessed with a pastor who cares deeply about serving God, serving his flock, and (most importantly) faithfully preaching the full counsel of Scripture, then you have a rare treasure indeed. Take some time on Sunday to demonstrate how much you love and appreciate him. And since October is Pastor Appreciation Month, you can even keep the blessings flowing a bit longer if you would like. ~smile~
How will you bless your pastor this month?