October Is Pastor Appreciation Month
Dear ABCOPAD Congregational Church Leader,
Do you know what the month of October is set aside for? If you click on the two links below you’ll
see October is set aside to raise awareness or celebrate all sorts of issues,
events and people.
From American Archives Months to Domestic Violence Awareness
Month to Polish American Heritage Month to Vegetarian Month, October is set
aside for a plethora of good causes. As
a result it’s understandable if you are unaware that October is also Pastor Appreciation Month. But since I just told you October is Pastor Appreciation Month, now you
I am writing to encourage you to appreciate your pastor this
month. You might think recognizing your
pastor is not necessary. After all, your
pastor is a pastor because she’s been called by God. But I am here to tell you it is
necessary. It is important and it can
make a huge difference in your pastor’s ministry, including increasing his
energy for ministry. Pastors are people
too and just as your energy for your job is increased when you are recognized
and appreciated so it is for your pastor.
I know this to be true because it reflects my own experience.
The first church I served, save for one older woman, did not
celebrate Pastor Appreciation Month. But I knew October was Pastor Appreciation Month. I
would look forward to the e-card the older woman sent each year. I would also tell myself that not being
appreciated by the rest of the members or the congregation as a whole didn’t
matter. But truth be told, it did. I know it mattered because the current church
I serve celebrates Pastor Appreciation
Month. Their celebration of it makes
a difference in my ministry. While not
my primary motivation for serving as a pastor, when I feel appreciated and
loved by my congregation, it provides added motivation to go above and beyond
in serving, caring and loving them. In
other words, it makes me a better pastor.
If you are a leader in your congregation and are reading
this, I encourage you to gather with other church leaders and plan a way to
appreciate your pastor. It doesn’t have
to be some grand event. Small gestures
throughout the month can add up. A cake
and a few members speaking kind words after a worship service is one way you
can show appreciation. One year my
current church gave me a gift certificate to a local restaurant for a date
night with my spouse. Another year, they
each wrote down a way I had ministered to them in their lives. I’ve kept them. I read them from time to time when facing a
challenge. They help me get through that challenging moment.
Thank you for taking your time to read this letter. Please e-mail (ABCOPAD Staff person) to let
us know how you celebrated Pastor
Appreciation Month this October.
We’ll compile your unique ideas and send them out to all the churches
Rev. David A. Braneky
Pastor Baptist Church of West Chester / President of ABCOPAD
p.s. Here’s a link to an article with ideas on how to
appreciate your pastor.