Reflections excerpted from Dion Elmore, Vice President, National Day of Prayer Task Force
October is Pastors Appreciation month, and "an opportunity for you and your family to show appreciation to the Pastors that put in the work of keeping watch over dozens, hundreds, or even thousands of souls every week – not an easy job!
Just the ‘equipping of the saints (us) for the work of ministry’ task alone, not mentioning the hours and hours of meetings, intercession, and preparation that Pastors put in each and every week, can be exhausting. Many Pastors spend much more time with other families in their Churches than they do their own. Most are very generous with time, finances, encouragement, and are always ready to lend a hand to those in need of help – and it is often assumed that they are ‘fine’ and have no needs, but that assumption is often not true. The reality is that Pastors and their families often slip through the cracks and are the last to be ministered to.
In 2013, I had the blessing of helping to lead the National Day of Prayer – Pray for America Bus Tour and had the privilege of praying for and ministering to hundreds of pastors that year. Over and over again, we had Pastors begin to weep when we offered to pray for them, saying that they’d been in that church for years, and had never had anyone in their Church offer to pray for them! Our hearts were broken for these leaders, who were trying their hardest to ‘keep watch’, but missing the joy in that journey that Hebrews mentions. We quickly realized that most of these Pastors were always giving, but were rarely given to.
As you pray for leading and plan to show your Pastors appreciation this coming Sunday (this month), first and foremost, let them know that you are praying for them. Then, take some practical steps to bless them and bring them some joy, whether it’s financially with cash, gifts, gift cards, or a weekend getaway. Perhaps it is helping them with a project at their home, babysitting, or meals now and then – whatever the Lord leads you to do to show appreciation – be generous.
Let’s pray – Father, we pray for our Pastors this week, that you would minister to them through us, and that they would know that we appreciate and value them for the tireless, selfless work that they do on our behalf. Bless them with all they need and pour out the joy of the Lord upon them in greater measure than they’ve ever experienced. Make us ministers of Your joy to them this Sunday, and all year long – we pray in Jesus Name, Amen."