Show YOUR pastor appreciation today

It is not an easy thing to be a pastor.

Don’t believe me? Just look at Scripture, look at your neighbors, and look at yourself.

Scripture does not hold back on the declaration that becoming a pastor is a high calling. Pastors are called to be blameless (Titus 1:7). They are warned that “we who teach will be judged more strictly” (James 3:1). Eek.

Beyond Scripture, look at the state of the world we live in! Pain, hardship, and suffering abound. Look within your own heart. Every person in your congregation lies, gossips, grumbles, covets… we are saved by the grace of Jesus, not by our own works. And our pastors are called to stand firm on God’s truth, to love us through our sin, and to care for us amidst the brokenness and pain of this world.

It is not an easy thing to be a pastor.

Today is Pastor Appreciation Day. And boy, do they deserve appreciation! But what can we do to show that appreciation? How can we love our pastors well?

  • We can speak with kindness. Speak kindly and respectfully to and about your pastor and their family.
  • We can love their family as our own. Extend mercy, encouragement, support, and grace to the people in your pastor’s inner circle. Their spouse and children are priority number one.
  • We can pray for them. Your pastor may be paid by the church or not, but there’s no such thing as professional Christianity. Lift them up before our Lord, interceding for them. Pray for their personal relationship with Christ, for passionate and compassionate hearts, and for the Spirit’s power in their lives and in their ministry.
  • We can offer to help. Pastors cannot lead a church alone.
  • We can tell them thank you. It is easy to share our grumblings, but it is meaningful to share our thanks. Tell them what part of their sermon encouraged you. Say “thank you” when they care for you in some way.
  • We can treat them like a normal person. And like normal people, they will sometimes mess up, forget things, say something wrong, and they will not be at our beck and call. Offer grace and forgiveness.

Did you know that iHope came into existence specifically to be a support and resource for local pastors? Yep. Several pastors and counselors in Florence came together recognizing that pastors need a place where they can receive safe, confidential, professional, Christian care and counseling. And they need a trusted place to refer people who need counseling beyond their available time or expertise. In fact, our founding members included a pastor and two former pastor’s wives.

We’ve seen this up close. We’ve seen the messy, dirty, and beautiful parts of pastorship. And that’s why I can say with confidence that being a pastor is not easy – but it is meaningful. Our pastors need our love and encouragement. Yes, in a formal setting like iHope. But even more so in the normal pews and meetings and programs of the church itself. Hey… that’s you.

I am thankful for my pastor, and I’m going to write him a note this week and tell him exactly that. I hope you will do the same for yours.

Written by Jessica Hayes
iHope Executive Director