TO ALL IN THE UPCSA
October is generally known as the pastors appreciation month. Once, again we send this as a reminder to all to do your best to show appreciation to those servants of the Lord.
Last year I googled and shared the following with some of the colleagues and I am sharing with all of us:
The History of Pastor Appreciation Day
Pastor Appreciation Day started as “Clergy Appreciation Day”, the idea of showing appreciation for your Clergy, Pastors, or Leaders is very Biblical and can be traced all the way back to Paul’s new testament letters. Paul mentions this idea in a number of different letters that he writes to the various churches. Paul says this in his first letter to Timothy,
“Let the elders who rule well be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in preaching and teaching.” 1 Timothy 5:17 (English Standard Version).
Paul highlights the fact that our Pastors be considered worthy of double honor for assuming this role in His church and do it well. But, typically with double honor, you can expect double stress, this is why we need to make an even greater effort to celebrate and encourage those in leadership.
Clergy Appreciation Day/Pastors Appreciation Day was not commercialized until the early 1990’s, Hallmark Cards in 1992 and Focus On The Family led the charge in 1994 by making it a point to remind congregations to make the month of October special for their Pastor. Now with the growth of media and technology, the idea that sprang from Paul has now evolved and diffused into even more congregations around the world.
Why Pastor Appreciation is so Important
Obey your leaders and do what they say. They are watching over you, and they must answer to God. So don’t make them sad as they do their work. Make them happy. Otherwise, they won’t be able to help you at all. Hebrews 13:17 (Contemporary English Version)
Your leaders are entrusted to watch over the entire congregation, small group, family group, etc. This can be a very overwhelming task and one that can lead to a lot of stress, late nights, and coffee. Leaders have a tendency to serve whether it is within their ministry or outside of the church walls, they simply love to serve and meet the needs of others. Whether it be time, money, meals, encouragement, leaders love to lend a hand. It is important to notice everything that your Pastor does for the congregation but what most people don’t realize is that they are not given back to very often.
They easily slip through the cracks and we assume that they are doing fine and they are getting their needs met. If everyone had this mentality then no one would be giving back to their Pastor.
That is why this time of year is most important. We should all appreciate or learn to appreciate our Pastors or Leaders and encourage them as much as they encourage each of us. Remember, your congregation out numbers leadership. Imagine if everyone did their part and served consistently. At the end of the day, your Pastor is still a part of the body of Christ just like us and they should be treated in the same way we treat our other brothers and sisters.
This is the one time during the year where we are reminded to consider our Pastor, think specifically about their needs and how you can personally or as a congregation encourage them and their family.
The servants of the Lord are worthy of honour. Love and appreciate them.
Rev Dr Lungile Mpetsheni
Uniting Presbyterian Church in Southern Africa