Pastor Appreciation Month
Pastor Appreciation #1
What is Pastor Appreciation Month? It is a special time set aside annually to honor our pastors and pastoral family for the hard work, sacrificial dedication and multiple blessing provided by these special people.
Why should we honor Pastors? God has entrusted to them one of the most precious of assignments - the spiritual well-being of His flock. When a pastor becomes weary, the very souls of his church community are endangered. The Elders who direct the affairs of the church well are worthy of double honor, especially those whose work is preaching and teaching. 1 Timothy 5:17
How are you going to honor your Pastor? Support, Prayer, Love and Encouragement are the most important things a church can provide for a pastor. Prayer empowers pastors to be the people God called them to be. It is difficult to pray for someone and be critical at the same time. Love your pastor as Jesus loves them, and show it through regular, tangible acts of encouragement such as simple cards or notes all year long. As a ministry, come alongside and be their “Aaron” in this generation. To help shoulder their burdens, strengthen their families, ignite their faith and applaud their efforts. (Exodus 17:12)
There are many ways to make your pastor feel appreciated…
Cards: Feedback is appreciated regarding the worship service and sermons. Let him know that what was said helped you, taught you or touched your heart.
Invite him out for breakfast or lunch or invite his family to fellowship and/or dine with your family. Special Treats: Bring a meal to his house.
Did you know…Michael John of Warwick, RI has been our Pastor for 23 years? He graduated from Gordon Seminary, became Assistant Pastor here in 1998 and was Interim Pastor from September 1998-December 1999. Michael married Christine on October 17, 1998 and was ordained here on April 11, 1999 and installed as Pastor of Market Street Baptist on May 7, 2000.
Pastor John has been part of the mission team to Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada several times and traveled to South Africa more than 10 times to teach to other pastors.
What does the pastor do?
He is sometimes a lawyer, often a social worker, something of an editor, a bit of a philosopher and entertainer, a salesman, a decorative piece for public functions, and he is supposed to be a scholar. He visits the sick, marries people, buries the dead, plans programs, labors to admonish those who sin, and tries to stay sweet when chided for not doing his duty. Between times he prepares a sermon and preaches it on Sunday to those who don't happen to have any other engagement. Then on Monday he smiles when some jovial chap roars, "What a job - one day a week". Anonymous
Pastor: Who are you really? Walks among the people...A pastor is one that is among the people knowing their hurts and needs as well as their praises in person...has first-hand knowledge of the people because he walks alongside them through the stages of life. The walk is a slow one in which the pastor is always whispering in the ear the directions and encouragement from the Bible.
Leading people in a relationship with Christ..
A pastor is one that has at his heart the privilege of leading people to a commitment of their life in Christ. More than just saying a "sinner’s prayer" he is burdened that a relationship with Christ is ever growing in the lives of his people. He guides people through the stages of life and develops "with" them as their faith matures.
Keeping People at the Feet of Jesus...
Because the pastor has a great love for people he also has the responsibility to continuously point people back to Christ and hold them at His feet. It is at the feet of Jesus that we learn and grow. The pastor is relentless in seeing people become "self-feeders" in Christ, which is a true sign of maturity. Often this means that the pastor has to confront sin and correct the wrong. He must risk being disliked for the sake of integrity. He remains true to the Bible as he pours it into the lives of people.
Being who Jesus would be at the moment...
Probably the best picture of a pastor is when he is able to sense what is needed and becomes Jesus to hurting people. He is able to comfort in the face of crisis, encourage during the darkness of life, and hold tight the lost and forsaken. He understands that people need Jesus "with flesh on" when life is falling apart. The pastor is able to make a heart connection without words. An effective pastor maintains a heart-to-heart connection with God and people. His walk through life is viewed by all and he likes it that way. He is an example and friend, but never perfect.
Article from On Mission Magazine: Summer 2010 pastor's edition V by BR Johnson who is senior pastor of the Lighthouse Community Church in Harpersville, Alabama, and author of "Simple Living In a Complex World".
Pastor Appreciation #2
PRAY FOR YOUR P-A-S-T-O-R
P - Purity. Pray that your pastor will remain pure in the face of constant pressure in an immoral culture.
A - Adversity. Pray for your pastor that he will be able to confront adversity with faith and endurance.
S - Strength. Most pastors work long hours and at least six days a week. Pray that he will have the strength to continue his ministry.
T - Teaching. Pray for your pastor that his teaching and preaching will be effective, powerful, and clear.
O - Organization. Your pastor has more to do than any one person can handle. Pray for your pastor that he will be able to prioritize correctly.
R - Rest. Your pastor needs rest. Pray that your pastor will sleep well each night and that he will take enough time away from ministry so that he does not get worn out.
WAYS YOU CAN LET YOUR PASTOR KNOW HOW MUCH THEY’RE APPRECIATED:
Thanks for all the ways you lead and guide our church.
Thanks for all you do for our church.
Thank you for being such a great example of living a life of faith.
You’re a blessing to our church.
Thanks for all the ways you make a difference in our church and community.
Thanks for all you do to make our church the encouraging and faith-building place it is!
Our church is so lucky to have you!
Thank you for your help with my [baptism, wedding, etc.].
Thanks for all you did to make my [baptism, wedding, etc.] the special day it was.
Pastors play a critical role in penetrating lostness in North America. It’s not an easy job. It includes long days and nights of preparing sermons, counseling the hurting and praying for the congregation. Ministry leadership is tough work. Take Moses as an example. In Exodus 17, Moses faced
attacks from inside and outside his camp. Then, starting with verse 8, the Israelite camp came under attack from the Amalekites.
Every time Moses lifted his staff, the Israelites prevailed in their battle with the Amalekites. When he dropped his staff, the Amalekites prevailed upon them. When Moses got tired, Aaron and Hur put a stone under him so he could sit down. They also held up his arms so he could continue to raise his staff. The Israelites defeated their enemy, partly because God’s people chose to support God’s appointed leader, Moses.
Pastors in North America need Aarons and Hurs in their congregations to LIFT their arms and encourage them when they get tired. The North American Mission Board is helping congregations become those encouragers for their pastors during Pastor Appreciation Month.
What do you appreciate most about your church/pastor?
How is your church/pastor a blessing to you?
Are there any specific events you want to include in your thank-
you note to your pastor (i.e. a baptism, a wedding, etc.)?
Did your pastor give a particular sermon or message that really
impacted you this year? Why was it so impactful for you?
Pastor Appreciation #3
6 Ways To Pray For Your Pastor
I’m sure your pastor would appreciate a nice card next Sunday, but he or she would be doubly blessed to know that you were praying regularly along these lines:
1. Pray against witchcraft and manipulation.
As soon as Elijah stepped into the fray and challenged Israel’s idolatry, Jezebel went into attack mode. We must never be ignorant of Satan’s schemes (see 2 Cor. 2:11). The enemy targets Christian leaders, aiming to pull them into immorality, deception or pride; or he dispatches human messengers to control or discourage them. You can expose these demonic plots through prayer.
2. Pray for courage.
Elijah had guts. He not only got in Ahab’s face, but he also organized a public showdown to challenge Jezebel’s false prophets. Yet right after the fire fell from heaven in response to Elijah’s prayer, Jezebel threatened him—and the Bible says “he was afraid and arose and ran for his life” (1 Kings 19:3, NASB). Leaders are called to confront, but they can’t do it without supernatural boldness from God. Ask the Lord to make your pastor brave.
3. Pray against depression.
After Elijah fled to the wilderness, he started acting like a burned-out pastor. He prayed: “It is enough; now, O Lord, take my life” (19:4). It’s normal for leaders to have emotional highs and lows, but when discouragement becomes debilitating it can knock them out for good. Pray that your pastor will draw fresh joy from the wells of salvation daily.
4. Pray for rest.
After the intensity of Mount Carmel, Elijah went a day’s journey from Beersheeba and slept under a juniper tree. Sometimes what pastors need most is a day off—yet many feel driven to perform, either because of people’s expectations or self-imposed demands. What makes matters worse is that many pastors have not empowered others to help with the workload. Pray that your pastor not only gets enough sleep, but that he or she gets times of refreshing away from phone calls, e-mails and constant “emergencies” that can surely wait.
5. Pray for the touch of God.
Elijah found supernatural strength after his wearying experience on the mountaintop—not just because he ate and slept but because the angel of the Lord touched him twice (see 19:6-7). Pray that your pastor receives a double portion of the Lord’s presence. It is only the Lord’s supernatural anointing that enables us to minister in the power of the Holy Spirit.
6. Pray for disciples.
Even after Elijah heard God’s voice on Mount Horeb, he was tempted to think he was the only true prophet left. But the Lord told him there were 7,000 prophets who had not bowed their knees to Baal, and He instructed Elijah to anoint Elisha as his successor (see 19:15-18). God does not want leaders to do their work alone. We are called to a long-distance race that involves multiple generations! Pray that your pastor will arrange his priorities correctly so he can invest his life in younger leaders.
J. Lee Grady is the former editor of Charisma. LightChurch is a medium to large sized church in Dallas, Mesquite, TX. Non-Denominational / Independent