Dave Bentley, Pastor, Wallingford, Vermont
(Disclaimer: This will likely come across as a shameless attempt for personal benefit, but I’m going to put this out there anyway.)
October is Pastor Appreciation Month, and I am certain that your pastor, whoever they may be, has experienced one of the most challenging seasons of ministry in their life over the past two years.
Here are just a few things that I know from my own experience:
- They might have preached sermons staring into their camera-phone at their dining room table.
- They may have struggled with the balance between fearless faith and responsible regulation.
- They have possibly cringed with every update of COVID-19 protocols, every report of local outbreaks, and every sniffle and sneeze that they felt developing in their nose.
- They could have spent a number of Sundays looked at empty pews wondering when they would be filled again.
- They likely have prayed for people who become infected, fully believing in God to heal and restore them to health, and wrestling with the sorrow of their loss when God chose not to heal.
In addition to life in COVID, there has been increased strife around the world in a wide variety of locations and issues.
Your pastor has experienced ministry in a way that few who have answered that sacred call over the centuries could have conceived. They have preached and prayed through challenges that would have been unimaginable to them just three years ago. It is very likely that, though they might not openly admit it on Sunday morning, they are wounded and weary warriors within.
So, October is Pastor Appreciation month. Some churches already recognize that in some way annually. Others might not even know that it’s really a thing. Whether you have planned something or not, I am certain that your pastor could use a reminder that their ministry and service is appreciated. I wouldn’t presume to tell you how to appreciate your pastor. I only ask that you do it in a way that they realize that they are loved, supported, prayed for, and truly appreciated. I am sure it will make a difference for them, and you will be blessed in return.