October is Pastor Appreciation Month.
[ Aside: I know everybody should be appreciated. Why do pastors get a whole month of appreciation, when administrative assistants and teachers only get one day; and I’m pretty sure writers, dentists or nuclear-physicists don’t get one at all? I don’t know, but I’m not here to debate that.]
Anyway, pastors have a tough job. Contrary to the persistent rumors, they actually DO work more than one day a week; in fact pastors are typically on-call 24/7. When someone in the church gets sick or needs prayer, they call the pastor. When somebody dies, even at 3:00 in the morning, they call the pastor. When people get married, or divorced, or have a baby, or have a teenager who gets arrested for reckless driving– they call the pastor. Pastors are called by God to take care of their flock of people, and that flock of people call the pastor. A lot.
Not only that, but pastors are expected to be excellent speakers, inspiring preachers, brilliant theologians, knowledgeable marriage counselors, and experts in all things Biblical. They are also expected to teach classes, lead worship, know how to answer impossible questions (Such as: If an infant dies right after they’re born, are they saved even if they weren’t baptized? What did Jesus write in the sand after he said “Those without sin cast the first stone?” and Will there be coffee in heaven? etc.) Pastors are very often expected to be great with kids and teenagers, and then turn around and visit then elderly residents of a nursing home. They are expected to know the names, ages and families of everyone who comes to the church, especially if they only show up on Christmas and Easter. And in smaller parishes, pastors even have to plunge toilets and fix leaky pipes. It is very often a thankless job. Which is why appreciating your pastor is important.
One way to show your pastor that you appreciate all of the work that they do is to kick them out of the church and send them away. (For a few days, at least) Have the church send your pastor and their spouse on a retreat! Getting a few days AWAY from their ministry will allow them to relax, go for a walk, reconnect with God and their spouse, and get some much-needed rest. A retreat will not only help the pastor get re-energized and refocused, but it will also allow the congregation to take care of some of those things the pastor has always done. Maybe an elder can lead the Wednesday evening Bible study while the pastor is away. Maybe the deacons can take the youth group bowling. And maybe someone will finally call a real plumber!
So send your pastor away this month! Reserve a week, or even a few days, at The Oasis Renewal Center for your pastor. If scheduling is problematic, give them an Oasis Gift Certificate and the pastor can schedule a retreat when it’s convenient. See our website for details.