Pastors Appreciating Pastors

We are in the midst of Clergy Appreciation Month. Last weekend was the period of the month when most churches set aside time to do something special to honor their pastoral staff ministers and their families for all that they do in service to the church. I sure hope your people have already celebrated your ministry with them or have something nice planned for either the rest of the month or the rest of the year. You deserve it! But if they forget to do something tangible for you and your family right now, do not be disheartened. You should be able to tell how much you are appreciated throughout each week, month, and year. Forgetting an anniversary does not mean they don’t love you.

I wanted to talk to you this month about how you honor and appreciate the other ministers on your staff during Clergy Appreciation Month. The same principles would apply to how you show appreciation to other pastors in your community. I would imagine that hearing how much you and your ministry mean to another colleague, whether at your own church or the one down the street, would carry an extra special amount of weight. We all need to receive approval from those we serve and those we serve beside. Have you already done something to let another minister know that you recognize the importance and difference he or she makes in your life and in our society and world? If you need some suggestions, review the ideas presented on page 5 in the Clergy Appreciation Month planning guide offered by Focus on the Family. Do something today. 

I hope you were able to listen to the Focus on the Family radio broadcast of September 30, “Pastoring with No Regrets,” in which I participated with Jim Daly and John Fuller. If you missed it, you can still hear it online at the Focus on the Family web site or at iTunes under “Focus on the Family Daily Broadcast.” As we discussed in that conversation, please remember that part of Clergy Appreciation Month involves the appreciation of your family — by your congregation and by you! Give them the priority in your life that they deserve. They need the affirmation as much as you do.

Finally, let me add one more admonition. I asked Jadon, the 12-year-old son of a colleague, what he thought I should say to pastors about Clergy Appreciation Month, understanding that this annual time of celebration is typically about congregations honoring their pastors. His answer cut deeply. He said, “Tell them to appreciate themselves.” Stop and think about that. Do you recognize and appreciate how much God loves you for who you are? Do you know He admires and finds blessings in all you do in your service to Him? In light of that, do you appreciate yourself? I know there is a tenuous line between acknowledging your worth to God and your congregation and finding yourself full of pride. But you have to respect yourself and your calling. You have to remember the confidence God has placed in you. Enjoy this month. Enjoy the times of celebration. Find renewal and refreshing in the joy of your people. Then hit the pavement running with new energy and excitement. 

Now, quickly think of five ways God has worked His will in your ministry, your family, or your own personal life. The blessings are bountiful.

“I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers”
(Ephesians 1:16).

“I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings”
(1 Corinthians 9:23).



©2013 HB London. Originally posted on HB London’s Heart of Pastor Blog.