October is Pastor Appreciation Month. This is a month dedicated to appreciating the people who have influenced us, taught us, and sacrificed for us. However, it seems like this honorable month goes unnoticed within our congregations and I believe that speaks to how we view our pastors.
With this month quickly approaching, let’s not forget to celebrate our pastors. Let’s take this time to really remember who they are and all that they do for us.
Don’t forget they’re real people, too…
Isn’t it kind of weird to see our pastors out at Target or at a restaurant on a date, or anywhere we would go? We seem to compartmentalize our pastors to the church, and only the church, but the fact is they’re real people with real lives!
Our pastors have families, enjoy fun vacations, shop at the mall, coach little league, and do the same things everyday people do. They have lives outside of the church. Their occupation is the role of a pastor; however, it does not dictate who they are as a person. They are still a spouse, parent, friend, coach, and coworker. As the body of Christ, we should be encouraging our pastors to live life outside of the church and to live it well!
We can encourage, reassure, and appreciate our Pastor’s home-life through invitations to sporting games, summer BBQ’s, or maybe even on a double date! Appreciating their personal lives is a reflection of our gratitude for who they are as a person.
Don’t forget they have real feelings, too…
We often forget that our pastors aren’t indestructible. We are shocked when they hurt, cry or get angry. Why? Because we forget that they are real people with real feelings!
In 1 Corinthians 12 we are called to be the body of Christ through using our spiritual gifts to further the Kingdom, “Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.” (v. 17, NIV). We each have spiritual gifts that are called to be used together as one. This includes caring for our pastors! Encouraging them in times of struggle or difficulty, uplifting them when they are hurt, providing for them in ways they cannot provide for themselves, and blessing them in ways that you’d want to be blessed. The worst thing we can do for our pastors is stand by and watch them burn out. Their emotional well being should be a top priority for us as their congregation.
Using our spiritual gifts to support our pastor’s well being in the good times and the bad speaks life into the body of Christ. Take some time to pray and evaluate your pastor’s emotional needs and care for them on a personal level. They might need you more than you know.
Don’t forget they make real sacrifices…
The role of a pastor is not just meant for teaching. The profession of a pastor is a minute by minute job. It requires hard work and sacrifice every single minute of every single day.
Many of our pastors have sacrificed a lot over the years. As a congregation, we sometimes don’t see the sacrifices of our pastors firsthand. We don’t see them leaving early from dinner because they’re going to comfort a family after the death of a loved one. We don’t see the hours they put into studying week after week to prepare messages that will impact us. We don’t see the effort it takes to balance work, family, and the church.
But that doesn’t negate us form honoring that sacrifice.
Let us honor our pastors for sacrificing their time, their effort, and their lives for the Gospel! We can show our appreciation for their sacrifice by gifting them a weekend getaway, writing an anonymous check, or by simply thanking them personally.
1 Thessalonians 5 calls us to recognize, acknowledge, and honor those who work hard among us. Our pastors have earned some appreciation. So, Church, let us celebrate our pastors this month and all the months to come!
“Now we ask you, brothers and sisters, to appreciate those who diligently work among you. To recognize, acknowledge, and respect your leaders, who are in charge over you in the Lord and who give you instruction, and we ask that you appreciate them and hold them in the highest esteem in love because of their work on your behalf.”
1 Thessalonians 5:12-13 AMP
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