God gave them tender hearts, to hold the hurts of others.
He gave them gentle hands, to reach out with compassion and love.
God gave them eyes, to see the beauty and worth of a single soul.
He gave them feet, to move swiftly, to pursue justice, restoration and peace.
God laid His hand upon them—and breathed hope into their spirits.
He filled them with His strength and placed a message of urgency around their lives.
God challenged them to greater works than He had ever done.
Then, with His own hand of blessing, He wrapped them up in His mantle of love…and called them pastors.
–Rebecca Barlow Jordan
October is Pastor Appreciation Month. Technically, the second Sunday of the month is supposed to be Pastor Appreciation Sunday; but somehow the Weisbach Pastor Appreciation Committee can never seem to have their act together enough to do anything that early in the month. But not to worry—better late than never! And this time at least, honoring our Pastor on Sunday the 24th of October worked out really well, because Sunday the 24th of October just happens to be our Pastor’s birthday! So, happy birthday Bro. Zeigler.
So why do we have pastor appreciation?
1. Because the Bible tells us to:
1 Thessalonians 5:12–13 says,
“And we beseech you, brethren, to know them which labour among you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you; And to esteem them very highly in love for their work’s sake. And be at peace among yourselves.”
1 Tim. 5:17 says,
“Let the pastors that rule well be counted worthy of double honor, especially they who labor in the word and doctrine.”
2. Because pastors are on the front line of the spiritual battle and they need encouragement and affirmation from their congregation.
Listen to Dr. James Dobson: “I believe the church is the first line of defense for the family. It must not be permitted to flounder. Since the local pastor is the most visual person who represents the church, he carries most of the load. He’s the one people call when they have a family emergency in the middle of the night. He’s the one who puts his arm around someone’s shoulder to offer comfort in crises, and spiritual support when it’s needed the most. The pastor’s role is vital. His work is absolutely essential in our society. Unfortunately, few people stop to think about how much difficulty, how much depression and how many obstacles he faces to serve in this way.”
And in the 21st century, pastors are having a harder time than ever. Why? Consider the following statistics:
90 percent of churches are in survival mode.
75 percent of pastors report they’ve had a significant stress-related crisis at least once in their ministry.
50 percent of pastors feel unable to meet the needs of the job.
80 percent of pastors say they have insufficient time with their spouse.
48 percent of pastors think being in ministry is hazardous to family well-being.
40 percent report a serious conflict with a parishioner at least once a month.
40 percent of pastors say they have considered leaving their pastorates in the last three months.
Now listen to H. B. London, Focus on the Family’s “Pastor to Pastors”:
“All I can say is read my mail, answer my phone, hear what pastors tell me in conferences, and then you know pastors are in pain—everywhere. More than anything else they need the love, encouragement and prayer support of the people they serve.”
So today we honored our pastor and his family with some useful monetary gifts and gift cards as small tokens of our appreciation for all his labors of love.
God bless you pastor! We love you!