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Show clergy members you care

In the pulpit

POSTED: October 4, 2010 1:43 p.m.
“We ask you, brothers, to respect those who labor among you and are over you in the Lord and admonish you, and to esteem them very highly in love because of their work. Be at peace among yourselves.” (1 Thessalonians 5:12-13 - ESV).

Last month, we celebrated Grandparents Day. This month is Clergy Appreciation Month.
Showing appreciation to clergy members is vital to the success of a church’s ministry. In addition, many scriptures encourage worshipers to honor, respect and love their pastors.
In 1 Timothy 5:17, the Apostle Paul, wrote, “The elders who direct the affairs of the church well are worthy of double honor, especially those whose work is preaching and teaching.”
Paul knew the hard work and sacrifices associated with ministry work.
In 1994, Focus on the Family, a global Christian ministry dedicated to helping families thrive, began to emphasize the importance of clergy appreciation and came up with Clergy Appreciation Month. The celebration is designed to remind congregations that it is Biblical and proper to honor pastoral staffs and families not only in the designated month of October, but throughout the year.
Focus on the Family representatives say their goal in creating Clergy Appreciation Month is to let clergy members and their families know they are appreciated by those they serve.
According to an article by Ken Sande of Peacemaker Ministries, 1,500 ministers in America leave their churches every month because of conflict, burnout or moral issues. The article said there are many reasons why a pastor’s stay in the ministry might be long or short. But a congregation that doesn’t thank its ministers likely will guarantee limited success.
A simple “thank you” or “I appreciate you” is a great way to let a pastor know you care. As a church member, your kindness and support can lighten a pastor’s workload. If your church has never planned a pastor appreciation program, October is a good month to begin. Let your pastor know what he or she means to you, but don’t just say it — show your appreciation.
These men and women of God work tirelessly for their churches, often missing out on time with their own families. They don’t know the meaning of an eight-to-five work day. They give selflessly of their time and wear so many hats in their quests to lead churches that meet the needs of congregants and community members.  
There are many ways to show you appreciate your pastor and his or her family, including monetary gifts, gift cards, having their cars serviced or detailed, gas cards, assisting with household maintenance/yard upkeep, driving a pastor to his or her engagements, inviting a pastor and his or her family to dinner or taking them out to dinner.
One of the best gifts you can give a pastor is the gift of being a faithful, dedicated and committed member. Volunteer to help build up the ministry; don’t tear it down. There are many tasks within a church that need to be accomplished. Use the gifts and talents God gave you to be a blessing to the church. Don’t wait until the pastor asks you to do something — be proactive and volunteer.
Continue to pray for clergy members and their families as they strive to do the work of the ministry.
 

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