While pastors appreciate the marriage getaways and financial gifts that sometimes come their way during Pastor Appreciation Month, Dave Miller suggests there may be something even more important to consider.
“I think the best thing you can do if you really want to honor your pastor is to write him a letter,” said Miller, who is president of the Southern Baptist Pastors’ Conference and pastor of Southern Hills Baptist Church in Sioux City, Iowa.
“Tell him how his ministry impacted your life. Don’t just give him platitudes,” Miller said.
“The letters that I’ve appreciated the most in my ministry haven’t just been the ones that said, ‘You’re a great pastor. We love your sermons,’ but have instead described how I helped them grow during my time as their pastor.”
Many Southern Baptist churches, in honoring their pastors in October for Pastor Appreciation Month, do so in a variety of ways — from giving them gift cards to sending them on vacations to writing letters. For most pastors, it’s a much-needed boost of encouragement.
A 2015 survey by LifeWay Research showed that while only 1 percent of pastors leave the ministry every year, many still have a challenging work environment. For example:
84 percent say they’re on call 24 hours a day.
48 percent say the demands of ministry are more than they can handle.
53 percent are often concerned about their family’s financial future.
Miller compared Pastor Appreciation Month to what an anniversary is for a marriage, while encouraging churches to express appreciation to pastors throughout the year.
“You should say what your wife means to you on a regular basis, but you often don’t,” Miller said. “So an anniversary is a reminder that you need to do that. It’s not going to fix anything if the relationship is broken but, like an anniversary, it can help remind you to say the things you should be saying on a regular basis.”
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SOURCE: Baptist Press