For 25 years now, October has been known in church circles as Pastor Appreciation month. If you listen to Christian radio, you will at some point be reminded that your pastor needs to be appreciated and you might even think, “I wonder what the church is doing,” without noticing that referring to the church to which you belong as “the church” is the equivalent of referring to yourself in the third person.
To be sure, pastors love getting gifts cards to restaurants and coffee shops, but there are other ways of showing appreciation to a pastoral staff. The pastoral staff invest themselves in the work of the church every day. We pour our hearts into developing programming that we believe will help the church fulfill the Great Commandment and the Great Commission. Church and kingdom work is an integral part of our lives, not an afterthought. For families to take ownership in this vision and prioritize it in their lives through faithful involvement shows appreciation for what is being done. Here are four ways to appreciate your pastors:
Nothing shows appreciation more than making sure your involvement in the church is a high priority in your personal schedule. We appreciate it when people respond with buy-in to what we believe God is doing in our ministries. During Pastor Appreciation month, you can show your appreciation by faithfully attending worship services and inviting others to attend with you. You can make sure your children and students are attending their respective programs. If you are in the choir, consistent attendance at Wednesday night rehearsals and Sunday morning worship would show your appreciation in a very tangible way. I would gladly exchange the gift cards for a series of high attendance Sundays in October.
According to the Bible, the pastor is responsible for equipping people to serve. We feel appreciated whenever someone who has volunteered to serve, serves faithfully and without complaint in their particular area of ministry. We feel appreciated when someone steps up to serve in an area of need. During Pastor Appreciation month, volunteer to serve in areas of greatest need, not just areas of greatest convenience.
It is extremely rewarding to know that the church is moving in unity towards the vision that the pastor has for the church. One of the ways that vision is communicated to the church family is through the annual budget. When members contribute generously to the work of the kingdom, it is a sign of support for the pastoral vision for the church. During Pastor Appreciation month, give, not to the pastor himself, but to the church. October is a good month to evaluate your current giving habits. Look back and see if you missed some weeks and use October to “catch up” with what you thought you would give this year.
The fourth way you can appreciate your pastor this month is by praying for him. Pray for the ministerial staff members that directly influence your family’s involvement in the church. If you have children or students, pray with them and teach them to pray for Daniel and Ethan. If you are involved in the worship ministry, pray for Skylar. While you are at it, pray for me. Pray that we would hear encouragement that far outweighs criticism. Pray that attendance, service, and giving would increase in such a way this month that it will be obvious that the church appreciates all that we seek to do for the glory of the kingdom.