October 9, 2018
By Denise George
Special to The Alabama Baptist
During October’s Pastor Appreciation Month, give your pastor six priceless gifts that only you can give him and that he will truly appreciate:
1. Pray fervently for him, his family and the church. Let him know you are praying for him. As a spiritual leader he carries a heavy load of around-the-clock work. Pastors are on call day and night, 24/7 for their members.
He may also have responsibilities as a husband, father and son. Scripture affirms that “the prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective” (James 5:16b). More than anything else, your pastor needs your unceasing prayers for him, his family and the church.
2. Renew your commitment to attend worship services regularly. Dedicated church attendance means much to today’s pastor. It shows a congregation’s support and appreciation of him and his hard work. It is disheartening for a pastor to stand in the pulpit and preach Sunday after Sunday to only a small portion of his people. Be consistent — and on time — in your attendance.
3. Renew your commitment to tithe and give generously to special church missions emphases. The pastor depends on a member’s tithes to pay regular church bills and staff salaries.
Lost, hurting and hungry people depend on your church’s devotion to contributing to the Southern Baptist Convention’s international and domestic missions, Global Hunger Relief, the Cooperative Program, etc. Give regularly and unselfishly as a way to show your pastor that you and your family appreciate him.
4. Give practical service gifts. While pastors might appreciate another new book for their libraries, another silver serving tray or another restaurant gift card, most pastors need and relish a church member’s gift of service, a helping hand. Offer to assist your pastor in ways he can truly appreciate. For instance:
4Accompany and/or help him with hospital and member shut-in visits.
4Volunteer to help with church evangelism and missions outreach programs.
4Teach a Bible study class or substitute teach for a regular teacher who is away.
4Help create, plan and lead various church-wide projects and events.
4Offer to catalog and organize the books in his personal library.
4If you have the necessary skills, help repair broken objects in the church and help maintain the building.
4Donate time to beautifying the church grounds.
4Volunteer to assist ministry teams and help with clean up efforts in the community.
Ask your pastor how you can best serve him and the congregation in some practical ways, then roll up your sleeves and go to work.
5. Show love, respect and kindness to him and his family. Encourage your pastor, his spouse and his children in kind, loving and respectful ways. For instance:
4Whenever possible, include the pastor’s family in your own family’s dinners, activities and vacations.
4Show special gratitude for everything the pastor’s family does for the church and community, work that most members are not even aware they do.
4Give the pastor’s family the gift of uninterrupted family time together.
4Say a heartfelt “thank you” often during the year, showing the pastor and his family your appreciation for both the big and small tasks they regularly do.
4Remember the special days in the pastor’s family year: birthdays, anniversaries, etc.
4Celebrate the family’s important rites of passage: a teenage son passing his driver’s license test, a daughter’s graduation from high school or college, the birth of a baby, an engagement or marriage, etc.
4Speak about your pastor to others using edifying words, words that highlight his character, mission, leadership, work and dedication to Christ. Never say or post on social media anything about your pastor that is disrespectful or inappropriate. If you have an issue with your pastor’s personality or leadership style, take it up with him privately.
6. Respect your pastor’s need for solitude. Pastors need ample solitude time to study God’s word, prepare sermons and Bible studies, plan special ministry projects and pray for their family, congregation, community and world.
Here are some suggestions for protecting your pastor’s personal quiet time:
4Except for emergencies, keep interruptions to a minimum.
4Be respectful of the Sunday morning hours before your pastor preaches, allowing him quiet time to pray and study before delivering God’s word to the congregation.
4Value your pastor’s time. Make appointments (not unexpected drop-by visits) to discuss business, personal and church matters.
4Email or text your pastor, making fewer interruptive telephone calls.
Southern Baptist church members are generous people who love their pastors, are devoted to their church congregations and sacrificially give their time, service, and spiritual and financial gifts.
When you give your pastor and his family these six special gifts you will bless him, the congregation, the community and the world. You can reach out to him and others with the love of Christ and priceless gifts that will keep giving to him and his family far beyond the last day of Pastor Appreciation Month.
EDITOR’S NOTE — Denise George is author of 30 books, including “What Pastors Wish Church Members Knew” (Zondervan). She is married to Timothy George, founding dean of Beeson Divinity School, Samford University.