The month of October every year is designated as “Pastor Appreciation Month” — and many local congregations make extra efforts to show their pastors respect, consideration and kindness.
In doing so, according to Gary Dull, executive director of the Pennsylvania Pastors Network (PPN), the faithful often grant their pastors special time off or even restful trips, as he noted in comments shared with LifeZette on Wednesday.
Every pastor who is a recipient of such generous gestures will be appreciative, Dull pointed out.
Yet “showing appreciation” to pastors “should be more than just honoring” the person once a year, he also said recently in The Christian Post.
“Appreciating your pastor should be a continual attitude with regular actions to express that appreciation. A study of the Bible gives not only suggestions, but also directives on how a church fellowship should show appreciation for its pastor. Let’s take time to consider how we can put these directives to practice. In doing so, we will be obeying God and honoring the Lord Jesus Christ,” he said.
Dull shared five key ways to honor and appreciate pastors.
1.) Know your pastor. As the Bible says, “Know them which labor among you, and are over you in the Lord and admonish you” (1 Thessalonians 5:12). This verse describes the response to pastors who work spiritually to give godly direction to their flocks.
Biblically speaking, every congregant should get to know his or her pastor. They should build a strong relationship with this person so as to know his or her likes and dislikes — as well as the weaknesses and strengths in order to be able to pray and encourage the pastor more effectively.
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The better you know your pastor, the better you can appreciate his ministry — and the more effective his ministry will be to all.
2.) Love your pastor. The Bible, in 1 Thessalonians 5:13, says, “Esteem them very highly in love for their work’s sake.” Many pastors are lonely given the weight of their spiritual leadership. Often, that weight is so heavy they don’t even share it with spouses or close friends.
By consistently showing you care for your pastor through acts of kindness, you’ll be more of an encouragement than you can ever imagine — and he’ll have a greater motivation to serve the congregation to the glory of God.
3.) Support your pastor. “Let the elders (pastors) that rule well be counted worthy of double honor, especially they who labor in the word and doctrine” (1 Timothy 5:17). The phrase “worthy of double honor” literally means “double remuneration.”
In other words, pay your pastor well. Many pastors and their families suffer financially because the congregation does not see the need to pay them adequately. Such a situation does not honor God.
As a member of your church, do what you can to encourage your fellowship to give your pastor a salary and additional benefits that will enable him to live comfortably so as not to be burdened or distracted from the ministry to which God has called him. God will bless you for this.
4.) Pray for your pastor. As the Bible says in 2 Thessalonians 3:1: “Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may have free course, and be glorified, even as it is with you, and that we may be delivered from unreasonable and wicked men: for all have not faith.”
Congregations can pray for many things when it comes to their pastor. But that he may be able to preach the Word of God with power and be protected from harm is a very significant prayer.
Doing so will guarantee that your pastor will be much more effective in the pulpit and in community ministry.
5.) Follow your pastor. Hebrews 13:7 says, “Remember them that have the rule (spiritual) over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering of their conduct.” Pastors who offer genuine spiritual ministry, who preach the Word of God clearly, and who manifest biblical faith are to be followed without resistance or rebellion by each member of the congregation.
Those who refuse to do so will answer to the Lord, and according to Hebrews 13:17, that will be “unprofitable” for them when they stand before the Lord.
Churches do not hire their pastors. It is by the grace of God that pastors are placed in church pulpits.
The congregation simply recognizes God’s call to the local assembly as the under-shepherd of Jesus Christ to equip and lead the church into more effective and fruitful Christian service.
The congregant who follows the faith of his pastor will be blessed by God on earth — and will be rewarded in heaven.
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