Pastor Appreciation Month: Celebrate and uphold pastors in prayer

In October, churches across the nation are celebrating Pastor Appreciation Month. Many celebrate Pastor Appreciation Day, or Clergy Appreciation Day, on the second Sunday or another Sunday of the month.

The Apostle Paul is thought to have first suggested clergy appreciation in 1 Timothy 5:17, when he stated, “The elders who direct the affairs of the church well are worthy of double honor, especially those whose work is preaching and teaching.” That teaching helped inspire the start of Clergy Appreciation Month in 1992 to recognize pastors and religious workers.

One United Methodist view says that while the congregation or laity are the hands and the feet of the church, the pastor is “the heart of the body who pumps the blood of the body to keep it alive.” (Some might arguably see those roles in reverse). Pastoral responsibilities may include administrative duties, leading worship, preaching, teaching, community outreach, evangelism, visiting the sick, pastoral counseling and most importantly, praying.

The pastor is one of the greatest prayer warriors (or carpenters) that a church can have. Whether in worship, church meetings, visiting sick members or other settings—or even when alone—prayer should be the foundation of a pastor’s tool box.

As we show appreciation for our pastors during this month and throughout the year, let us support them by keeping them in our prayers, for they too need that hedge of loving care surrounding them as much as we do.

Read the UM Communications (www.umc.org) article “15 ways to pray for your pastor” by Joe Iovino (2018).