As part of his popular TV program “Dirty Jobs,” Mike Rowe “performs difficult, strange, disgusting, or messy occupational duties alongside the job’s current employees.” Each episode shows jobs that we under-appreciate as a society and are much more difficult than we realize.
If there ever were an occupation that is under-appreciated by society these days and that is more difficult than we know, it’s the role of a pastor.
With October being Pastor Appreciation Month, now is the time in church life we can show these ministers of the Gospel some extra appreciation. Pastors always have faced difficulties in carrying out their call and ministry assignments. Not only does the enemy of our souls present continual temptation and opposition, the tasks that every pastor is to carry out are multi-faceted and not easy.
To name a few: preaching the Word, caring for the flock, leading the church, serving those in need, performing weddings and funerals, being a Christlike example, doing the work of evangelism and discipleship. Yes, the job description of a pastor is wide-ranging.
Recent years have not made pastoral work any easier. A Lifeway Research poll revealed “more than a quarter of pastors (27 percent) say they’re struggling with maintaining unity and dealing with conflict or complaints.” Add this all up, and we can see why this October, in particular, we need to encourage our pastors.
In 2 Corinthians, Paul talks about the God of all Comfort. He says, “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God“ (2 Cor. 1:3-4).
Too often we think about receiving comfort that we forget to give it. So how can we be a blessing this month? Consider these ideas:
- A Sunday School class could take up a collection and buy some gift cards or send notes of encouragement or offer to help with childcare or family needs.
- Children can make art or thank-you notes for the pastor.
- Youth could help do yard work for the pastor.
- Any church member who likes to cook could prepare and deliver baked goods.
These are just a few ideas. Oklahoma Baptists, this October (and beyond), together let’s each find ways to be a blessing—to comfort, encourage and appreciate—our pastors. After all, as church members, that’s one of our own important jobs.
P.S. Allow me to take a moment here to say a heartfelt thank you to my pastor, Stephen Rummage, for the great ways you lead and serve. Also “thank you!” to every Oklahoma Baptist pastor out there! We love you and appreciate you more than words can express (Phil. 1:3).