October is Pastor Appreciation Month. I don’t know when this tradition began. It is nice to hear and see people around the community talking about how they appreciate their pastor.
Having served at Rocky River Baptist Church for 18 years, I have felt a lot of appreciation and affirmation during that time. In many ways, our congregation has modeled the way a church should appreciate its pastor and his or her family. In honor of Pastor Appreciation Month, I want to declare my appreciation for Rocky River Baptist Church and for all the churches that show proper appreciation to their pastors. I want to do that by mentioning some of the important ways that Rocky River has shown their appreciation to me over these years.
One important means of support and appreciation is simply to pay the pastor a decent wage. A church can only live within its means. You cannot pay a pastor beyond what you can afford, but if a church is stingy with its support of its pastor, you can be sure that it is not a church that God can bless. I can say this without worrying about how Rocky River members will take it. They have always supported us financially in a very generous way.
Another important means of support is to love the pastor’s family and respect family and leisure time for your pastor. Pastoral work is stressful when it is done well. A pastor may spend day after day dealing with nothing but problem people or crises in the lives of church members. A pastor is on call at any time. A church that does not respect and insist on times for family and times for refreshment in appropriate leisure is not supporting the pastor as it should.
Pay attention to the sermon and the pastor’s teaching. Most people would never be able to produce and deliver several meaningful and inspiring talks in one year, much less having to do it every week. Sometimes the sermon will be more meaningful to you than it is at other times. God has called your pastor to teach the scriptures to you for your growth. You don’t have to agree with everything your pastor says. But if you allow God’s Spirit to speak through your pastor, there will be some nugget for you to find.
Finally, seek to grow as a Christian and serve Christ through the church. Nothing encourages a pastor more than to see the church of Jesus becoming more mature and faithful. This is the greatest desire of our hearts.
I am so grateful to have served at a church where many people are doing these things on a regular basis. That makes me declare this as PASTOR APPRECIATES THE CHURCH DAY! Thank you, Rocky River Baptist Church, and all you churches that treat your pastor right! God will bless you!
Love in Christ,
Greg Burriss, Pastor
Rocky River Baptist Church
Siler City, NC