Tom Kroessig is an Ambassador Field Director volunteer for Promise Keepers, serving Fayette and Coweta Counties and beyond. His mission is to be a resource for local Pastors and their men and to act as a liaison between them and the national Promise Keepers ministry. The goal of Promise Keepers is effective ministry to men.

Friday, October 19, 2007


OCTOBER is Clergy Appreciation Month (as if they needed a month in which we should show them our appreciation!)

1 THESSALONIANS 5:12-13a instructs us, "Now we urge you, brothers to respect those who work hard among you, who are over you in the Lord and who admonish you. Hold them in highest regard because of their work."

I have seen a number of surveys about pastors over the last 10 or 12 years that indicate that in any given year, up to half of all pastors seriously consider leaving the ministry. I believe this can be trace back directly to their congregations, particularly the men, not respecting, supporting, or encouraging these pastors. It's become popular in some churches to call the pastor by his (or her) first name. It does sound humble for a pastor to say, "I'm not anyone special. Please, just call me by my first name." Unfortunately, this can lead to the perception that the pastor is "just one of the guys." The problem is that this is not Biblical. The pastor is special because he is called by God and appointed to oversee a local church. Pastors are also tasked with preaching the Word of God, which distinguishes them from the rest of the church.

Pastors are not perfect, but do not be too hasty to criticise them. Here's a rule of thumb: You should spend at least twice as much time praying for your pastor as criticising them. My guess is that that will lead to much less criticism and much more empathy (appreciation, support, and encouragement) for your pastor. For those of you who wonder how to begin to pray for your pastor, start with these areas:

  1. Pray for you pastor's protection from attacks from any and all sources. This includes praying for his family, too!
  2. Pray for his safety, health, and rich and abundant time in study and in prayer.
  3. Pray that your pastor would "boldly preach the Word of God."
  4. Pray that the Lord would "bless the work of" your pastor's hands.
My prayer for each pastor is that they will be respected, supported, and encouraged by members of their congregation. If you want to make your pastor's day, walk boldly up to him and tell him that you are praying for them. See if he doesn't act like he's appreciated.

Remember that showing appreciation for your pastor is really a year-round opportunity, not just for October.

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