We are a fan of bringing awareness and appreciation towards mental health and substance use and for the past several years have pushed the different months where awareness is being given to mental health, suicide awareness, autism awareness, or minority mental health awareness among others. But we have not done anything for pastors other than recognize the holidays of Christmas and Easter.
October is Clergy Appreciation Month and October 10, 2021 is Clergy Appreciation Day. Here are some Scriptures for you.
“The elders who direct the affairs of the church well are worthy of double honor, especially those whose work is preaching and teaching.”1 Timothy 5:17 (New International Verson)
“Have confidence in your leaders and submit to their authority, because they keep watch over you as those who must give an account. Do this so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no benefit to you.”Hebrews 13:17 (NIV)
So how do we appreciate and honor our pastors?
Having been in youth ministry for eight years, it can feel like running on a treadmill. Your job is to witness to the lost, care for the hurting, and feed the sheep of the Church while raising up leaders, preaching, in many cases not getting paid enough and worrying if your church will have to shut your door. Have something planned on a Sunday and on social media.
Honestly, a simple thank you to the pastors and saying a prayer for them might be a start. Gift cards for coffee or Chipotle are always appreciated. If they have children and they are okay with it, offer to babysit their kids so they can go on a date or offer a local timeshare so they can go on vacation. Give your pastor a sabbatical.
As a final point that might be a hot take, but lasting change is more about, how can the congregation take up the role of evangelism, volunteering, and discipleship that is led by the pastor, but not completely done by the pastor. I believe this would be a great way to show appreciation by taking lead.
Focus on the Family last year talked about Pastor Appreciation Month that I wanted to share. Also, do not forget the pastor’s spouse either.