“Now, brothers and sisters, we ask you to appreciate those who work hard among you, who lead you in the Lord and teach you. Respect them with a very special love because of the work they do. Live in peace with each other.”
1 Thessalonians 5:12-13
(New Century Version)
October is Clergy Appreciation Month. While every day should be a time of special recognition for pastors, October has officially been designated as the month to show pastors how much they are appreciated.
Pastors play an integral role in the church and community. They wear many different hats and must assume various roles when performing the tasks they are called upon to tackle. They are constantly called to visit the sick and go to hospitals, nursing homes, jails and prisons. Pastors spend many hours researching sermons and Bible study lessons.
Whenever there is a tragedy in the community, the pastor is one of the first people to receive a telephone call. He or she is expected to be available to lend an ear and provide reassurance for victims and people who are suffering.
Oftentimes, they are taken for granted. Church members expect pastors to inspire and encourage them. However, parishioners forget pastors are also human, and they need encouragement as well.
Let this month be exceptional for your pastor and his or her family. During this time of celebration, be mindful of the many sacrifices pastors make for the church. They do not have the luxury of a 9-to-5 job, nor are they restricted to a pool of regular responsibilities. They are always “on call,” even during vacations.
As a faithful member, take the time to do an act
of kindness for your pastor. It’s not the size of the
act, but the sincerity with which it is done. Pastors enjoy going to dinner, movies and plays, receiving cards and gifts, and hearing a few simple word of encouragement. During October, you can purchase a gift for your clergy from the Temple of Praise Christian Bookstore and receive a 10 percent discount and a 15 percent discount off all music.
Pastors also need their cars detailed, yards cut, robes cleaned, and someone to drive them to appointments every now and then. With gas prices escalating, a gas card would helpful.
However, one of the most important things you can do for your pastor and his or her family is pray for them. They need your prayers.
These men and women of God give selflessly of their time and service to help you grow spiritually. You can make their jobs easier. Become a problem solver instead of the problem. Remember that every little issue does not demand the pastor’s attention. Help to lighten the pastor’s burden instead of increasing it.
Salute and honor your pastor in October. Take some time to show your spiritual leader that he/she is special and invaluable to your church. Let him or her know you appreciate their labors of love.