By Steve Holt
Church Services Director, TBMB
October is Pastor Appreciation Month. Since the early 1990s, church members have been encouraged to recognize the sacrificial service of their pastors in some tangible way during the month. While we should always seek to encourage and pray for our pastors, Pastor Appreciation Month is a great reminder to let our leaders know how much we love them.
Receiving a call to serve the Lord as a pastor is rewarding in and of itself. It is an honor to be able to spend your life working for the Lord through the ministry of a local church. Investing in the lives of God’s people and leading others to Christ are tremendous blessings. However, there are times when pastors get discouraged, tired, and even distracted amid those blessings. When those times come into a pastor’s life, having someone come alongside with an encouraging word or a heartfelt prayer means a great deal.
How can you honor your pastor this month? Let me suggest at least three ways.
First, as I have already mentioned, offer words of encouragement. I have a folder in my desk full of letters and cards I have received from church members over the years. Some are “thank yous” for something I did or just gratitude for being a positive influence in a person’s life. I treasure those handwritten expressions of appreciation. So, let me encourage you to send your pastor a card or note just to let him know how much he means to you. I promise, it will make his day!
Second, remain faithful in your support of what the Lord is doing through your church. All pastors appreciate members who show up, serve and support the work of the Lord. When I was a boy and asked my Dad what he wanted for his birthday, he would always say, “just be a good boy.” What he was really saying was my “good behavior” was the most valuable thing I could offer him as a gift. Likewise, your faithful support of your church is probably the greatest “year-round” gift you could give your pastor.
Finally, it’s always nice when someone gives you a gift in appreciation for your service. Think about something you could give your pastor that would bless him and his family. Take him to lunch or maybe take his family to dinner. Put a gift card in your handwritten note. Encourage your church to provide a weekend getaway for him and his wife. There are a multitude of ways to bless your pastor and his family.
Whatever way you choose to honor your pastor during October, make a commitment to pray for and support him throughout the year. I am grateful for the men who have poured their lives into the churches I have been a part of over my lifetime.
Those men are great examples of faithfulness and servant leadership both to me and the others they served as pastor. I Timothy 5:17 says those men and others like them are worthy of “double honor.” Let’s make sure all our pastors experience that kind of recognition this month.