Pastors are people too! They feel stress and the weight of responsibility of their work but they also feel love and joy when gratitude is shown to them.
That’s why on National Clergy Appreciation Day, celebrated on the second Sunday of every October, Oct. 10 this year, you can take the opportunity to celebrate your pastors’ sacrifices and hard work poured into keeping the church a spiritually nurturing place for everyone who comes.
In addition to an always appreciated pat-on-the-back, try thinking of thoughtful and creative ways to tell your pastor, “Thank God you’re here!” Perhaps gather a group of people to throw a small party for the pastor following the morning or noon-time Sunday service. You can also tell one of the church staff to include an expression of thanks from the congregation in the Sunday bulletin and allocate time in the service to applaud the pastor's work.
Whatever your choice, it’s really the heart that counts. Just like God doesn’t accept sacrifices based on its face value but on the sincerity in which it was given, pastors don’t care as much about raising themselves to glory through a celebration but rather accept the love wrapped in the offering or gesture. Also, more than simply thanking the pastor, remember to first thank God who has allowed you to have a spiritual leader in the first place.
As a reflection of your gratitude, also know that one day of gifts and food is not enough to support your pastor in the spiritual battle he is fighting for the congregation. Your pastor is the leader of the church just like Joshua was the general of the army which overtook Canaan Land. While the only things followers of Moses gave to their leader were complaints and worries, the army of Joshua gave him the ultimate weapon to win in the battle of faith—absolute obedience.
Joshua’s army told him, "Whatever you have commanded us we will do, and wherever you send us we will go.”
As you continue dreaming and striving toward God’s promised Canaan Land for us, the Kingdom of Heaven, be the soldier that can empower your pastor by having faith God will guide him.
Clergy Appreciation Month was established in 1992 by the not-for-profit group Under His Wing Ministries, Inc., a nondenominational group that ministers to clergy.