October is Pastor Appreciation Month

While this month is designated Pastor Appreciation Month, every month should be filled with appreciation for the selfless and sacrificial service minister provide every day of the year. (Having a day off from being a pastor is like having a day off from a pregnancy!)

So, from someone who has spent forty years in ministry, here are Top ten ways to appreciate pastors this month—and every month: (Feel free to add more in the comment section.)

10. Make sure the church pays them well. It’s hard to carry the cares of the church when one is wondering how to pay bills.

9. Instead of providing a parsonage, provide a housing allowance so they can build up equity. (Too many pastors retire “homeless.”)

8. Instead of saying, “Good sermon, pastor,” point out a specific point that was helpful. Pastors get numb to that repeated phrase.

7. Say “Amen,” raise a hand, or simply nod your head when you agree with a sermon point. It’s hard to preach to an oil painting!

6. Send them an email of encouragement Monday. That’s the day most pastors consider resigning and putting on a Walmart vest.

5. Offer to babysit the pastor’s kiddos so the couple can have a date night. And provide the couple with a gift certificate to a restaurant—specifically, one without a drive-through.

4. If someone gripes to you about the pastor, stop them cold with, “Have you talked to them about this? If not, I don’t want to hear gossip.”

3. Respect your pastor’s calling, education and experience. Too many laypeople believe they know more about running a church than the pastor.

2. Invite them out to lunch—without having “something important to talk about.” Just listen to them. Be an encourager!

1. Pray. No one but a fellow pastor knows the pressure and temptation facing pastors and their families. (According to Barna Research, 65% of pastors report feelings of loneliness and isolation. In the Pastoral Mental Health Report more than 1 in 10 pastors admitted to contemplating suicidein the past year.)

Copyright © 2017 James N. Watkins

And if you’re a pastor, here’s some hope and humor:
A case for women in ministry
Finding still water in the storm
It really is a wonderful life
Top ten signs your church may be prejudiced
What was Paul thinking when he wrote 1 Timothy 2:12?
What would Jesus say to a Church divided by politics?
You can’t love Christ and hate his church

Graphic: concordiatheology.org

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