By Carolyn Tomlin
Contributing columnist, B&R
“Pastors need to hear they are appreciated,” says Randy Kellough, pastor of Woodland Baptist Church in Haywood County. Woodland, a small Southern Baptist church, is like 27.4 percent of the churches in the United States. and ranges in size of 51-100 (LifewayResearch.com).
During Pastor Appreciation Day last year, the children of the church made a notebook and presented it to Kellough. Working on drawings and personal notes of “Why I Love My Pastor” they kept this a secret until the second Sunday in October. When they gathered for the Children’s Sermon, they delivered the notebook. “This is a book I will always treasure,” says Kellough. “To have the love and respect of children is a great compliment.”
Across our nation, 51,000 identify themselves as pastors or clergy (Bureau of Labor Statistics). At least 70 percent of people in the United States are identified as Christians (Pew Research Study). These people are in churches where their leaders are called upon for a multitude of various needs and are on-call 24/7.
The history of appreciating those God ordained goes back to Bible times. The apostle Paul wrote that the church elders were worthy of a double honor, especially preaching and teaching (I Timothy 5:17). In I Thessalonians 5:12-13, he stated that those who God has chosen to work among you should be held in the highest regard for their work and that you should love them. In 1992 this thought became known as Clergy Appreciation Month and a time to honor pastors and religious personnel. [Read more…]