Always be encouraging your pastor

September 6, 2019

Serving as a pastor of a local church is one of the most rewarding callings in life. It’s also one of the most challenging. I know because I served as a local church pastor for 15 years before becoming a director of missions.

Although I no longer serve as a pastor, I still interact and engage with pastors on a daily basis. The stories they share with me are often filled with the highs of seeing people come to faith in Christ, grow in their relationship with the Lord and sharing in significant life moments. Their stories are also filled with the lows that come with discouragement, conflict, exhaustion and loneliness.

Most, if not all, pastors experience such highs and lows every week and, perhaps, every day. That’s why I believe it’s important for us to always be encouraging our pastor and church staff members.

Congregations will have a special opportunity to express gratitude to their pastor next month as part of Pastor Appreciation Day, which is typically celebrated on the second Sunday in October. This year’s date is Sunday, Oct. 13. In fact, the entire month of October has been deemed Pastor Appreciation Month as a way to honor and celebrate the many ways that pastors give of themselves to provide spiritual leadership. While you may not find this unofficial holiday listed on a calendar, this is an important day and month in the life of the church.

The idea of honoring those God has called to serve as pastors and leaders in the local church is a biblical principle. In 1 Timothy 5:17, the Apostle Paul writes, “Let the elders who rule well be counted worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in the word and doctrine.” In 1 Thessalonians 5:12-13, Paul urges us to “recognize those who labor among you” and “esteem them very highly in love for their work’s sake….”

This is the same Apostle Paul who also wrote that in addition to the physical and external hardships he endured, he faced the daily pressure of “deep concern for all the churches” (2 Corinthians 11:28). Pastors are not perfect people, but they, like the Apostle Paul, share this burden to care well for those God has placed under their care.

Earlier this year, Chris Griggs, who pastors Denver Baptist Church in Denver, N.C., wrote an article for The Gospel Coalition titled “A Week in the Life of an Ordinary Pastor.” I commend this article to every North Carolina Baptist because it conveys what Griggs describes as the “emotional roller coaster” that pastors often ride each week.

I hope that you will start planning now to honor your pastor during October’s Pastor Appreciation Month. You don’t have to do anything extravagant to let your pastor know how much you appreciate him. Even small gestures go a long way. So let your pastor know how much he is appreciated not just next month, but all year long.

“And I will give you shepherds according to My heart, who will feed you with knowledge and understanding.” — Jeremiah 3:15 (NKJV)


by Milton A. Hollifield Jr.  
/  Executive Director-Treasurer  /  Baptist State Convention of North Carolina

15 vital things you can give your pastor

October is pastor appreciation month. As a pastor for 25 years, here are some ideas for things your church can give your pastor:Give him a place.Give him a place where he is free to preach the gospel.Give him a place where he is accepted for who he is, not compared to who he...

Why I’m excited about this year’s Pastors’ Conference

The past year has been difficult. The world we live in today looks quite different than it did just 18 months ago. Many things we were accustomed to doing have either disappeared, been restricted, or have changed, for better or worse. One of the biggest changes was the separation...

The local school: A great place for church ministry

For the most part I really enjoyed school. However, there were some aspects of the time that I enjoyed more than others. I enjoyed the learning, the socialization, and of course, the sports. I found most of the assignments manageable with the exception of writing papers. Sitting...

Ready or not, here they come! Evaluating your church with fresh eyes

Is your church ready for guests who may visit your church after first watching online? Are you ready for members who may return after an extended COVID-19 break? What steps can you take to make a great first impression and reintegrate those who want to reengage with your...

Why personal evangelism is a key ingredient for turnaround churches

Many pastors and churches today are struggling. Pastors are discouraged, and some are leaving the ministry altogether. It’s been estimated that more than 80% of churches are plateaued or declining. Yet, some churches are seeing a turnaround. A fresh wind is blowing. These churches...

Looking forward to being on mission together

In late August, a series of organizational changes were unanimously approved by our state convention’s executive committee aimed at advancing all of us forward as a movement of churches on mission together. We’ve been working toward implementing these changes, and I hope that our...

Fostering and adoption: Why forever matters

“Which one is my mommy now?” I never imagined a child asking someone to point out who their mother was. However, the little blonde-haired girl named Ally, who I was holding that day, had already lived with three different families in the span of 15 months since she and her sister...

10 principles for leading in church revitalization

Many churches in our world today are in deep need of revitalization. In order to lead your church in revitalization, there are some basic principles you must follow. Here are 10 principles for a revitalizer: Be humble. You must swallow your pride, humble yourself and love even...

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Select Language ^

Share This

Share this with your friends!