So, apparently October is Clergy Appreciation Month. Who knew?
I recently came across an article written by John Piper about how to appreciate your pastor, and I wanted to pass it along. If you’re a part of a church, please consider looking for ways to encourage your pastor – I can guarantee you he needs it more than you can imagine. We’re not necessarily talking about gifts here (although if you ever have Rockets tickets to unload, I’m glad to take them off your hands!). Instead, let me encourage you to consider what Dr. Piper suggests. The entire article is worth reading, but here are his specific suggestions:
1) Pray for him every day. Write it down so you don’t forget. And don’t just say, “God bless the pastor.” Be specific. Pray for his health, his messages, his family, his visiting, his flaws and weaknesses. Put yourself in his place and try to feel with him as you pray.
2) Second, go out of your way to say some gracious words of encouragement. Write him a note on the registration card, send a letter now and then to his home; call him up on the phone. Get him alone sometime, look him right in the face, and say, “I appreciate your work, pastor, and I am praying for you every day.” Don’t be satisfied with platitudes at the door after Sunday services.
3) Third, admonish him in a spirit of forgiveness. I have never talked to anyone in my life who is completely satisfied with his pastor. There is a very simple reason: All men are imperfect. Some people never seem to learn this. and they hop from church to church in search of the flawless pastor. That’s hopeless. It is far better to find a church where you feel at home and to consider it your lifelong responsibility to help the pastor grow. Everyone would like to change something about his pastor, but how many of us have devoted ourselves to earnest prayer about that thing? And how many have sat down with him and with a humble, forgiving spirit admonished him to change? If we love him we will do it … and he is not all that scary to talk to.
As a pastor, I can tell you how meaningful all three of those would be for any pastor. There are five for days in the official “clergy appreciation month”, but don’t let that stop you. Your pastor serves all year – let’s make sure to honor them all year as well.