Those who are called to serve God through the ministry of pastoring churches have a special place in my heart. I am the daughter of a man who faithfully pastored churches—mostly small, rural congregations—for over forty years. I am married to an associate minister who has preached and prayed and taught Bible studies for God’s people year after year. I have seen the work of pastors behind the scenes: late-night phone calls, visitation in hospitals and prisons and nursing homes, meetings with the elders and deacons and boards and congregations, weeping with those who weep and rejoicing with those who rejoice, and the many hours of sermon preparation.
In addition to my father and my husband, God has blessed me through the ministry of other pastors, those who prayed with our family, encouraged my children, and inspired the church to follow Jesus. And the sermons! A series on Revelation that gave me a fresh perspective on the worship of Christ ... a study on God’s leading the people of Israel in the book of Numbers that encouraged my own weary heart ... an exploration of the book of Ephesians that I never wanted to end. Nothing on earth is like the dynamic moment when the Holy Spirit has empowered the servant of God to proclaim the Scripture in the hearing of the people of God.
October is Pastor Appreciation Month. This is a wonderful opportunity to praise the Lord for the influence and guidance of godly pastors in your life, and to take time to let your pastors—past and present—know how much you appreciate their ministry. The reality is that many pastors love serving the church, but they also often feel lonely, overworked, and stressed. Like many service professions, they hear all the ways that they haven’t met expectations and too seldom hear the ways that God is using them to make a difference in someone’s life.
One tangible way to express appreciation is to sponsor your pastors to attend Moody’s Pastors’ Conference. This event draws together hundreds of pastors from many denominations across the country for worship, refreshment, and support. This conference is hosted by pastors and for pastors; some attendees come year after year because it makes such a difference in their ministry. For more information, see moodyconferences.com/pastorsconference.
Your pastor might also appreciate the gift of receiving Today in the Word. Whether as a resource to share with others who are looking for a quality Bible study devotional or to use as part of their own time with the Lord each day, pastors say Today in the Word is a vital part of their ministry. If you’d like to give this gift to your pastor, let us know at www.todayintheword.org/contact.
As 1 Timothy 5:17 tells us: “The elders who direct the affairs of the church well are worthy of double honor, especially those whose work is preaching and teaching.”