3 Reasons to Let Your Church Bless You This Pastor Appreciation Month

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As you already know, October is Pastor Appreciation Month! Before going any further, we here at Vanderbloemen would like to extend our immense gratitude to pastors for all that you do. Every employee at Vanderbloemen has at some point been blessed by a church, which is why we are passionate about equipping and building up “The Big C” Church.  We would not be here without you, and it is our joy to serve you. 

One thing we often hear concerning pastoral staff is a refusal to accept praise and gratitude. When doing Kingdom work, we are often tempted to say things like, “well it isn't really my hard work that should be praised,” or “I have just been obedient to my calling, so I shouldn’t receive any special attention.” We want to remind you, whether you are an executive pastor, worship pastor, family pastor, or any other kind of pastor, of a few reasons why you should allow your church body and staff to bless you this month:

1) Leadership is uniquely weighty

We don’t need to remind you that being a pastor brings with it a set of unique challenges and burdens. Those burdens are a joy to bear, but that doesn’t make them any less weighty, and you are not meant to bear them alone. If your congregation offers any opportunity to ease that burden, whether that be with time off, a monetary gift, or simply words of affirmation, take it humbly. We here at Vanderbloemen are firm believers that rest and recuperation are key for your long-term success. Though, yes, you rely on the strength of Christ to carry you through leadership, you are also relying on the body and mind that God gave you as a gift for his service, and they can only take so much. The exhaustion of that leadership will catch up with you if you do not allow yourself and your congregation to acknowledge your limitations and rest accordingly. 

2) Others’ hardship does not nullify your own persistence

If your church approaches you this month asking how they can specifically thank you for your leadership over the past two years, you might be tempted to say, “but everyone else has dealt with hardship over these months, so I am not deserving of any more recognition or gifts  than them.” The fact that COVID made life difficult for everyone in your congregation does not mean your leadership should be any less acknowledged. If anything, it should be more of a reason for your team to be grateful for leadership. As a church leader, you couldn’t suffer through a massive global event individually, or even just with your family- you also had to take on the hurt, sorrow, confusion, and stress of your entire church body. 

3) It is your church’s Biblical obligation, and joy, to support you

For as awkward as it may be to bring up Galatians 6 to your congregation or board, it may be wise to do so if there are ways in which you are not being adequately supported. It is our job as the church body to bear the burdens of our pastors, teachers, and leaders, and if we are in any way not doing that job adequately, we are being disobedient to our calling. Think of it like this: if you are in any way preventing your congregation from supporting you, you are making them miss out on fulfilling part of their calling! And you certainly don’t want that! So this month, take extra time to consider your needs as a leader and present them to your church staff, board, or congregation. Give them the honor of supporting you and therefore glorifying God- this month, and always. 

Now, do we say all this to encourage pastors to be prideful and give glory to themselves? Of course not! Rather, we are aware that pastorship is often a thankless job, and all of the work that goes unnoticed can make it hard to accept gratitude when it comes. Your congregation, and even your staff, may not even know the extent to which you give of yourself for this job. So if they choose to express special thanks this month, allow them to do so. And if conveying appreciation for your work isn’t on their radar, do not be afraid to speak up and express your needs rather than suffering burnout, stress, or hardship in silence.

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