“Now we ask you, brothers and sisters, to acknowledge those who work hard among you, who care for you in the Lord and who admonish you. Hold them in the highest regard in love because of their work. Live in peace with each other.” — 1 Thessalonians 5:12-13
It’s that special time of year. October is Clergy Appreciation Month. It is time to express gratitude for men and women of God who labor unselfishly in service to others.
Clergy Appreciation Month was created to remind congregations of their responsibility to care for their pastors. The Apostle Paul once said that we should overwhelm them with appreciation and love.
Pastors are special people who have been chosen by God to work for Him. He understands the many challenges and obstacles they encounter on a daily basis.
These busy servants constantly are called upon to visit the sick at hospitals and nursing homes, speak to students at schools, sit in courtrooms and reach out to those in jail or prison.
Whenever tragedy strikes a community, pastors are the first people to receive telephone calls. They are expected to be available around the clock, to listen to the problems of those in need and to provide reassurance that everything will be fine.
Pastors also spend many hours talking with God and researching sermons and Bible study lessons.
God knew there would be times His chosen servants would feel neglected. They often are taken for granted because church members simply expect pastors to inspire and encourage them. However, we’re quick to forget that pastors also are human, and they need some encouragement.
Make this month exceptional for your pastor and his or her family. During this time of celebration, be mindful of the many sacrifices pastors make.
They do not have the luxury of working a 9-to-5 job, nor is their work confined to certain tasks. They are always on call, even during vacations.
As a faithful congregant, take the time to perform an act of kindness for your pastor. Remember, it is not the size of the act, but the sincerity with which it is done that counts. This month, think of the many wonderful ways in which you can be a blessing to your pastor.
Men and women of God give selflessly of their time and service to help us grow spiritually. To thank them, strive to become a problem-solver instead of the problem-maker. Every little issue you encounter is not a problem that demands a pastor’s attention. Try lightening your pastor’s burden instead of making it heavier.
Salute and honor your pastors and their families in October and throughout the year. Let them know you appreciate their labors of love. As you express your gratitude, you may find your church becomes more loving and united.
Anderson is the author of “Lack of Knowledge” and “Dare to Soar.”