Clergy Appreciation in a Pandemic
DATE POSTED: 09/30/2020  |     |   Category: Friend to Friend

Clergy Appreciation in a Pandemic

October is Pastor or Clergy Appreciation month. It was established in 1992 by a group of pastors and church leaders to honor those who serve in ministry. They grounded the celebration in Paul’s words to Timothy: “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)

This year this celebration is extremely important due to the pressure that our pastoral staff are under. Thom Rainer, in a recent article entitled, “Why Pastors are Ready to Quit?”  cites 6 things that have led to this reality.

  1. Pastors are weary from the pandemic, just like everyone else.
  2. Pastors are greatly discouraged about the fighting taking place.
  3. Pastors are discouraged about losing members and lower attendance.
  4. Pastors don’t know if their churches will be able to financially support current ministries in the future.
  5. Criticism against pastors has increased significantly.
  6. The workload for pastors has increased greatly.

In our ministry at DBA, our staff has heard each of these statements. In a recent conversation with a pastor, he said he was “hanging on by his toenails.” Let that sink in for a moment. Our pastors and staff are struggling, and they need our help.

Therefore, the DBA is calling on each church in our association, and individual to take time to thank their local church staff in some tangible way. Below are some suggestions that were a source of encouragement to me and my family. Read through the list and see which one sparks an idea. Take time to figure out a strategy of making it happen.

  1. The Personnel Committee at First Baptist Church, Bonham had baskets stationed at the front of the Sanctuary where people could place a note or card for each staff member.
  2. John and Frieda along with many others gave me an encouraging card.
  3. Jay and Leigh Ann often gave Cathy and me a gift card to go out to eat.
  4. Sondra made my favorite lemon meringue pie.
  5. Vera Mae offered a handwritten word of encouragement.
  6. Zealous and Edith gave me a new dress shirt and tie.
  7. Robert and Ann let us stay in their vacation home.
  8. Ray and Gloria kept our children so Cathy and I could go out on a date.
  9. Lorene and Cleo gave us a card with money in it.
  10. Mindell, Nelda, and Nancy gave me a Texaco bank for my collection.
  11. God led a couple to give us a vehicle when we needed it.
  12. Bill and Beth paid for and helped paint my house.
  13. Our church leadership suggested that each staff member take a Sunday off.

In addition to these suggestions, ask a staff member how you can pray for them. Be sure to follow through and pray for these requests and see how God answers.

I purposefully listed the first names of people who blessed my family. It is interesting to me that even though some of those gifts were given over 20 years ago, I still remember who gave them and what they gave. Please hear me, you can never underestimate the value of a tangible gift to provide encouragement. This year your response to Clergy Appreciation Month would be a significant support for your staff. Be an encourager to your pastors.

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