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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.
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.
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.