October is known for many things. It’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Domestic Violence Awareness Month, Liver Awareness Month, Healthy Lung Month, Down Syndrome Awareness Month, Infertility Awareness Month, Spina Bifida Awareness Month, SIDS Awareness Month, Dental Hygiene Month and so many more. It’s also Pastor Appreciation Month. On top of all these other things that you may support, don’t forget to honor your pastor.
I Thessalonians 5:12-13 says, “Honor those who are your leaders in the Lord’s work. They work hard among you and give spiritual guidance. Show them respect and wholehearted love because of their work. (NLT)” Paul knew that being a minister is often thankless work. They give and give, but rarely receive. They don’t do it for the monetary rewards (which usually aren’t much). They do it because when you’re called to serve, nothing else will satisfy.
A simple “Thank you” goes a long way. A card that tells them how they’ve ministered to you works as well. Each of us have different ways we can show appreciation to those who do the Lord’s work. At our church, we showcase a different minister each week. The church shows appreciation through applause and someone makes their favorite dish. It’s a simple way to say thanks and to show our appreciation.
Paul said to honor them which is to show them respect for the work they do. Most church goers don’t see the late night phone calls and texts. They don’t know about the all night hospital visits where they stand next to a family member who needs support. No one stops to think that the same pastor who is there offering support is hurting too as one of their members lays in that bed. They also don’t see the hours of counseling given or the countless prayers that are said on behalf of those in their care. These men and women deserve more honor than we can possibly give.
I know a lot of people have problems with their pastor because they don’t see eye to eye. They forget that their pastor is human just like they are, is tempted like they are and even sins like they do. They hold them to a higher standard, but fail to show the respect due to them. Your pastor is in need of your prayers, your respect and as Paul put it, your wholehearted love. The more you see what your pastor does, I believe the more you will love them and honor them. I know that’s the case for me.
As we wear our different colored ribbons this month to bring attention to the causes that are near and dear to our heart, don’t forget to give attention to those who give you spiritual guidance. Find ways to say “Thank you” for all they do. Look for opportunities to honor them. They work hard, pray hard and serve hard. A pat on the back or a word of encouragement will put fuel in their tank to keep going. Each of us have been impacted by a minister. It’s time we let them know.