Ways to Minister to the Minister
It's been noted that October is set aside as National Clergy Appreciation Month and more specifically as "Pastor Appreciation Month" and "Day". This is the time to recognize the contributions of the leadership of your chosen faith.
And why do we honor our church leaders? It can be traced back to the days of the first churches. For the Apostle Paul, was always concerned about honoring teachers and preachers, also known as elders. He felt that "laborers deserve their wages". In fact, Paul said they should have "double honor".
1992 was the year that this special day/month was initiated in the U.S. Many are puzzled as to what they can do to "honor" their Pastor or Clergy. Good question, how do you "Minister to the Minister"?
Well, when we minister we really are doing the work of the Lord. We look out for, encourage, and empower those in our presence. Simple acts of service are appreciated. Pastors are our brothers and sisters in Christ too!
Cards and monetary expressions are always appreciated. However:
We can always pray for our leaders. (They really are our Christian CEO's, CFO's, COO's, CTO's and Entrepreneurs)
Offer to lift their loads. (We have all been equipped with gifts by the Holy Spirit. Pastors can face burn out pretty quickly. Did I mention anxiety and mental health issues? They are expected to be encouragers, prayer warriors, managers, educators, chaplains, and sometimes janitorial engineers! Just to name a few.
Give them permission to be human! Encourage a sabbatical of some type! Time off to refresh, renew and revitalize! Theology and Ministry are important; however, even God rested on the 7th day! (Psst, lean in...they have families too!)
Let them lead! We appoint, elect, choose our pastoral leaders based on specific criteria; and many times after, we-congregations, decide to restrict things like their visions, creativity, decisions to lead a certain way. And let us not forget that they are also called to worship, like us!
Be a partner/Share the burdens! The church is a body with many members for reasons articulated very clearly in Scripture.
Remember Hebrews 13:7: Remember your leaders, those who spoke the word of God to you; consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith.