Pastor Appreciation posted by John Sorensen on Oct 15, 2018
October is Pastor Appreciation Month! The Bible gives us the best advice in Hebrews 13. “Remember your leaders who have spoken God’s word to you. As you carefully observe the outcome of their lives, imitate their faith… Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they keep watch over your souls as those who will give an account so that they can do this with joy and not with grief, for that would be unprofitable for you.”
Because the ministry of EE is really built to support and assist pastors, we’re going to focus on Pastor Appreciation Month this week. Perhaps you know this and have already expressed your appreciation for your pastor. If not, you still have time, but you need to get on it this week.
To help in this regard, I have some advice from Eric Geiger (who’s been a senior pastor at several churches, a Senior VP at Lifeway, and an author). Before I share with you his, and my, ideas for what to get your pastor, let me share with you his ideas for what NOT to get your pastor.
- “Praying hands” He already has them.
- A leadership/church book you want him to read. Your pastor will likely wonder the entire time what deficiency you think he has in his leadership/ministry that he must read about in the book. If you think he needs to read the book, don’t do it this month, and read it together.
- A tie. He’s going to be thinking, “How many times do I need to wear this tie, so it looks like I am grateful?”
- A Bible. Trust me, he already has one. If not, you need another church.
- A pair of tickets to a game that no one wants to go to. Many pastors like going to games, but if you are just looking for a charitable way to offload the tickets you don’t want to the worst game on the schedule, that’s not a good idea.
- A card with nothing in it. The workman is worthy of at least a Starbucks gift card.
I have to say that I read Eric’s list and had to laugh. Now, if this one of these is what you got your pastor, it’s ok. I’m sure he knows you care. But if you still need to do something, here a few items that might be more appropriate:
- Say thank you. Do it with a hand-written note and a gift card to a nice local restaurant, or a bookshop. Now you can give him a resource book that will help him with sermon prep. We’ll even help you with that. I’ll share with you how in a moment.
- Pray for them. Prayer is the simplest yet most impactful thing you can do. As you pray for your pastors, you will find yourself loving them more and more.
- If your pastor is a witnessing pastor, follow their lead. Show your pastors that it is not just their job to lead people to Christ, but your job as well. Pastor Grant, of Zion Hope Missionary Baptist Church, had this to say when talking about Evangelism Explosion training, “It actually takes the pressure off the pastor, because when you have mature people, they can come together and get stuff done without you having to be a part.” You see, being trained in EE not only enables you to share your faith but also trains you on how to be a leader; someone your pastor can rely on.
- Help them love their families well. Pastors must be able to love and shepherd their own families well if they are to lead the people of God. Rejoice that your pastors disappoint others by not accepting all invitations so that they may invest more in their own families. Remember, a pastor never “clocks out.” A pastor is a pastor all of the time. The responsibility is enormous as, to quote Martyn Lloyd-Jones, the pastor “is given charge of souls.” Let’s encourage, love, and support our pastors as they seek to fulfill all the duties of their ministries faithfully.
This is our focus this week at Evangelism Explosion through all our channels. To help you say thank you to your pastor, we are offering the book “For God and Country” by William J. Federer, absolutely free. It is an excellent resource for pastors who want to use quotes from our founding documents that show America’s Christian heritage. So, if you would like our help in giving you a book to give to your pastor, go to ShareLife.Today and get more information.
Regardless how you do it, love on your pastors this week, and may God richly bless you as you do.
This is a transcript from Conversations with John Sorensen #11: Pastor Appreciation