Showing Pastor Appreciation All Year Long
The month of October saw a great wave of appreciation flow out to Pastor’s worldwide and for good reason. The job of a pastor is tough stuff and it’s incredibly important. In fact, the job of a Pastor is consistently identified as one of the most difficult occupations in America; right up there with the President of the United States of America.
Why is being a Pastor so tough?
- With minimal staff for the majority of churches, a pastor is asked to be a preacher, teacher, accountant, visionary, computer technician, counselor, public speaker, worship director, community coordinator, prayer warrior, mentor, leadership expert, and fundraising specialist.
- Being on call for escalated situations or hospital visits can rob them of time with their family and much needed rest.
- They are also often the single point of contact for criticism toward the church.
- The job of a Pastor often calls them to a different city with few friends and little time to nurture those relationships.
- It’s also difficult to judge success and this can bring frustration and weariness to a difficult ministry.
How does the job of a Pastor affect those serving?
Unfortunately, some simple statistics from the Schaeffer Institute tell the story very well:
- 70% of pastors are so stressed and burned out they regularly consider leaving ministry
- 77% feel they do not have a good marriage
- 71% feel burned out and personally battle depression on a weekly basis
- Only 26% have regular devotions and feel adequately fed spiritually
- Only 23% feel happy at church and home
These point to a pretty grim truth but we all play an important part in keeping our Pastor’s healthy. Healthy ministries are only led by healthy pastors.
What You Can Do?
While October is a great time to rally around our Pastors and show them honor let’s take action all year long to encourage and keep them healthy. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Pastors are chronically busy. A simple gift of time away can give them the rest they need to refuel. The Christian Hospitality Network is a great place to start your search for a place of rest for your Pastor.
- Learn more about Pastoral health: http://pastorappreciation.org and http://rebootleaders.com/lift-for-pastors.htm are good resources to begin with. The more we understand the need the more we can take action to support.
- Encourage your Pastor through your words, notes, and your daily actions.
- Diligently pray for your Pastor and their family. Perhaps form a small group that prays for the Pastor before they preach.
- Advocate and Protect your Pastor. Conflict is a part of every ministry and coming alongside your Pastor during these times can bring needed help to a weary leader.
- Join your Pastor in ministry! – As Paul says in 1 Corinthians 11:1 “Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.” Your Pastor will feel honored and encouraged in the work they are leading when you join them in the ministry happening in your neighborhood.
What ideas for showing honor to your Pastor did we miss? Please share with us in the comments below.
By: Matt Heffner