Article Submitted By: Bishop Mike Ainsworth
Cornerstone Conference IPHC
October has long been recognized worldwide as Pastor Appreciation Month, or Clergy Appreciation Month. The call to honor our church leaders’ contributions can be traced back to the Apostle Paul. In establishing the first Christian churches, Paul advised the congregation to give “double honor” to the elders of the church who managed the affairs of the church well, “especially those whose work is preaching and teaching” (1 Timothy 5:17).
Paul further urged Christian communities to acknowledge those “who work hard among you, who care for you in the Lord and who admonish you,” holding these spiritual leaders “in the highest regard in love because of their work” (1 Thessalonians 5:12-13).
In 1994, the American Christian organization Focus on the Family began promoting Clergy Appreciation Month as a national month of observance. In highlighting Clergy Appreciation Month, Focus on the Family sought to encourage the faithful to outwardly show their appreciation for spiritual leaders on a national level.
Why celebrate Clergy Appreciation Month?
Reason 1: Pastors and clergy serve the church daily.
On a daily basis, pastors prepare weekly messages, manage the maintenance and financial obligations of their church, and, most importantly, nurture the spiritual well-being of their congregants.
Reason 2. Pastors and clergy serve the church and community during major life moments.
Aside from these daily duties, clergy members participate in the highs and lows of the lives of the members of the church and community.
Clergy members lead in giving comfort to families during funerals, pray for the sick, and minister to the imprisoned and abandoned. Moreover, clergy members bear the emotional pressure heaped upon them by disgruntled congregants and also absorb the hostile criticism of an increasingly anti-christian society.
Our clergy members also oversee our most joyous occasions. The clergy play a vital role in births, baby dedications, marriages, communion, and other important life events.
These workers also uphold the institution of marriage by counseling struggling couples to hold fast to their marital vows and guide the Lord’s flock by giving clarity to those who need encouragement and their faith strengthened.
Reason 3. Missionaries sacrifice their comfort and safety for the gospel.
Last, it’s important to note that clergy members often risk their physical well-being for the sake of doing God’s Work. Clergy serve as missionaries in hostile areas worldwide, cares for people with contagious diseases, and literally stand at the front lines fighting for the needs and concerns of those who are marginalized or abandoned.
Given everything that the people who serve pastorally do, we should take time to appreciate and encourage them and their staff members. Whether you choose to honor your spiritual leaders and their staff during Pastor Appreciation Month or another time of year, it is important to make this a priority for the church.
Submitted By: Steve Ely
Bless Your Pastor
National Association of Evangelicals
Find the original article HERE.
It's as easy as 1-2-3 to show and share God's love with your pastor!
Pastors and their spouses play a vital role in serving and loving congregations across the country, and yet many feel discouraged. That's why the National Association of Evangelicals started the Bless Your Pastor campaign.
The Bless Your Pastor campaign is 3 easy steps that will help your pastor feel appreciated by your church. This is perfect for Pastor Appreciation Month in October, and it's not too early to plan. For all participating churches, this includes a $300 Marriage Retreat Scholarship Opportunity! Your pastor will also be given access to free and discounted retreat and vacation opportunities.Step 1 | Share the list of 50 Creative Ways to Bless Your Pastor (download here) with your congregation, so everyone can be a blessing to your pastor. Step 2 | Take up an Appreciation Offering for your pastor. Imagine your pastor’s face when receiving an unexpected financial gift from the church body. Step 3 | Celebrate your pastor by collecting notes, praying for them in the church service, planning an appreciation meal, and/or other ways of celebrating that your pastor would appreciate. Final Step: Special Bonus! | For all participating churches that complete all 3 steps, we will email your senior pastor a special webpage with a $300 marriage retreat scholarship application to attend a "Weekend to Remember" Family Life marriage retreat. Your pastor will also be given access to free and discounted retreat and vacation opportunities. Fill out the form to receive this bonus. These three steps are also described in this PDF (English/Spanish)