You know that saying, “You don’t appreciate what you have until it’s gone?” One thing I realized I missed after moving to a small island was a pastor who leads the flock biblically. The month of October is Clergy/Pastor Appreciation Month, and it gets me thinking of pastors who have had an influence in my life. If you have one of those, don’t take it for granted.
Implement some of these ten ways your family can bless your pastor this month – and throughout the year.
I moved to a small island where we haven’t quite found a solid church. We are in a home church, which is fantastic. We get together, serve, and enjoy fellowship, yet we don’t have an actual “pastor” as we know it back in America.
I understand that a teacher of God’s Word isn’t entirely what we have made it out to be in modern-day Christianity. Yet, I do remember pastors who have led their churches biblically, and I will never forget it. They are not to be held on a pedestal, rather they are to be supported and revered.
We sometimes forget that pastors are human. Some aren’t the best counselors, some aren’t the best sympathizers, and the list goes on. They have been able to answer the call the Lord has set before them regardless of their shortfalls, or their doubts and struggles.
Some have been able to wear the following verse the best they know how — with love, with humility, with reverence and fear of the Lord.
Acts 20:28 Pay careful attention to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God, which he obtained with his blood.
Can you think of Pastors who have been that for the flock? Whom you know have sacrificed and been God’s hands and feet when no one else would? Do you know pastors who have taken criticism/backlash, made time for others, loved as Christ loved, been stern in their walk, practiced church discipline biblically, and likewise demonstrated forgiveness?
1 Corinthians 9:14 says, “In the same way, the Lord commanded that those who proclaim the gospel should get their living by the gospel.”
When you have clergymen who walk this out, not perfectly but strive for it, they can use a thanks or word of encouragement from time to time.
I would say that a true man of God who puts his life aside to teach (truly teach) God’s Word, knows he has much at stake.
James 3:1 says, “Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness.”
Pastor Appreciation Month (originally called Clergy Appreciation Month) was started in 1992 by a group of church leaders to dedicate time to honor those who serve in ministry. The celebration of these leaders was based on Paul’s writing to Timothy (1 Timothy 5:17), “The elders who direct the affairs of the church well are worthy of double honor, especially those whose work is preaching and teaching” (1 Tim. 5:17).
Making time to commemorate those who teach us is justified and worth celebrating.
Here are ten ways your family can bless your pastor in October and throughout the year:
Bless your pastor with prayers.
Be intentional about praying for your pastor and his family. Have you ever stopped to think that your pastor has to study at some point in the week for his sermon Sunday, sometimes even sermons twice or three times a week?
That isn’t his only challenge; he has to manage the church, counsel people, manage his family, pray for his congregation, be a husband, and father. Teaching God’s Word is not easy, so pray for his focus. Pray for his family and his ability to lead them as well. Remember that your pastor is human and struggles with sin like you and me, so pray for him to seek the Lord above all else.
Bless your pastor with your giving.
Many people don’t want to hear this; I get it. I am not talking about a sermon-long guilt trip to tithe. What I am talking about is giving because the Lord has told us we should. The verses below make it clear to me that we ought to give a portion to our pastor in as much as we can.
2 Chronicles 31:4-10 – Moreover, he commanded the people that dwelt in Jerusalem to give the portion of the priests and the Levites, that they might be encouraged in the law of the LORD.
Galatians 6:6 – One who is taught the word must share all good things with the one who teaches.
Bless your pastor by serving where you can.
We all have a gift that we could use to serve within the body of Christ He has put us in. Knowing that fellow Christians are using their talents to glorify the Lord in whatever way they can, helps a pastor know that he is not in this alone. I understand that some of you feel as if you cannot serve or you may be burned out on serving.
I urge you to pray. Pray about what the Lord would have you do. Surely if Jesus came as a servant and was able to wash the disciple’s feet, so much should we be of service to our fellowship of believers.
Bless your pastor by inviting his family to your home.
Many of us feel as if our pastor is someone we can’t get close to. I even went to a church where the people elevated the pastor so much it was hard to figure where his word ended and God’s Word began – it should NOT be this way. You should be able to ask your pastor and his family over for dinner, and they make time to come.
Does he only go to certain people’s homes? Only the holiest of church members’ homes? This is not true. Although you think the pastor may be invited to homes all the time, this may be farthest from the truth. It may be rare that he gets invited to someone’s home, so reach out and offer some hospitality. Get to know him and his family. The passage below is clear as day.
1 Thessalonians 5:12-14 says, “And we beseech you, brethren, to know them which labor among you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you.”
Bless your pastor by providing him words of encouragement.
Be specific and tell him about a sermon that stuck out to you or resonated with you. Point out something he did that helped you or helped someone else, and thank him for it. It means the world to know that they are reaching people for the sake of the cross.
Kids are the very best at thank you notes. Get your family together and make a collage for giving thanks to the man who the Lord has placed over the flock you are a part of. Our pastors are indeed a gift.
Ephesians 4:11-12 says that God did this for us, “And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds, and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ.”
Bless your pastor with an appreciation note from your family.
Do you know anyone who still sends letters? Neither do I. Sending letters seems almost an ancient art form, but taking the time to write a letter still remains a special gesture. Send/give your clergyman/pastor a note of encouragement or something specific you want to thank him for.
These men take the time out when there isn’t enough time in the day. Being judged with greater strictness is no laughing matter, they know it, and yet they do it daily anyway.
Bless your pastor with a random act of kindness.
Inviting a pastor to your home for dinner is a wonderful gesture, and it may be much needed time away for your pastor and family. However, sometimes they could use a dinner basket with no strings, no demand from them, just a delicious meal, and a burden lifted off their day. Even ordering pizza to their home would be such a relief.
Although they do so much and can look pulled together, the truth is that many are underpaid and may have financial concerns in their home. If you have the means, pay a utility bill to help with the financial burden. The Bible tells us that we should not let a debt remain outstanding except that which to love one another (Romans 13:8). So, why not help your pastor lift that financial debt, if for only one month a year?
Slip your pastor a gas card or restaurant gift card now and again under their office door or mailbox. These little gestures go a long way and may mean more than we think. If your pastor frequents a local coffee shop, anonymously pay for a running tab so your pastor can enjoy a free cup of coffee. What a blessing this can be!
Bless your pastor by getting to church a little early.
Sacrificing your time could be one of the most valuable things you could do. We come to church, worship, hear a sermon, and leave. Yet, that is not where “church service” starts and stops for pastors and their families. At some churches people arrive early to set up and stay late to clean up and break things down. Why not be one to lend a hand once and a while. Pastors feel this burden every week, making helping hands needed and appreciated.
Bless your pastor with organizing a workday, either at the church or at his home.
Find out some work that needs to be done and gather some folks to get it done. It can be draining for pastors to ask their congregation for help over and over. There might be a point when he stops and takes on all of the burden himself.
Alleviate some of that stress by taking care of an issue that he may need help with. Does he need a shelf built for all his books, does his lawn need some work or landscaping, could he use his car washed? Maybe the church could use a good clean up? Find a need and get it done as a family.
Bless your pastor with your commitment.
Ensure your family is committed – committed to not speaking wrongly against your pastor in front of others, to church attendance, to helping others in the body of Christ where the Lord has placed you.
Should you have an issue with your pastor, never go to others, go to him directly, and give grace where grace is due. Be committed to showing up, people come and go, and the faithful members provide a sense of comfort for him. Be committed, with your family, to see a need and fill it. Show your family to be aware of those around them and check in with people to see how they are doing. One man can do so much and is bound to miss somethings. Be the Lord’s hands and feet alongside your pastor and his family.
Of course, there are other ways you can bless your pastor if you have the means. You can buy him a SERMONATOR t-shirt, pay for a date night with his spouse, have your family raise some money for a short vacation to get away or buy him some useful things for the office.
The fact is that there are some disturbing things for us to keep in mind when it comes to our pastors. In doing some research, these statistics are fairly even across the board:
- 75% of pastors fight depression
- 90% feel they are inadequately trained to cope with ministry demands
- 33% state that being in the ministry is an outright hazard to their family
- 80% of seminary and Bible school graduates leave the ministry within 5 years
- 1,400 ministers leave the ministry every month
This role of a pastor is not for the faint of heart. I am convinced that pastors must be a warrior of some sort.
These ten ways your family can bless your pastor are tangible things families can do right now and throughout the year to bless the pastor that the Lord saw fit to teach you God’s good and perfect Word.
Stay grateful and pray for your pastor’s humility, faithfulness, graciousness, and willingness to answer the call. I leave you with this scripture as a reminder:
Hebrews 13:17 instructs us to “Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you.”
Jeannette is a wife, mother and homeschooling mom. She has been mightily, saved by grace and is grateful for God’s sovereignty throughout her life’s journey. She has a Bachelor in English Education and her MBA. Jeannette is bi-lingual and currently lives in the Tongan Islands of the South Pacific. She posts daily freebies for homeschoolers!
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