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October Pastor Appreciation

For those of you too young to recognize our photo, it is the Lone Ranger, a fictional masked former Texas Ranger who fought outlaws in America’s old West. Writers for The Lone Ranger tell us he was never seen without his mask or some sort of disguise; he always used perfect grammar, and he was never put in a hopeless situation.

Our local church honors our pastors every October. It’s a value we place on recognizing the role and service our leadership deserves. We are grateful for each staff member and the unique gifts they bring. They encourage us; they challenge us. They seek God on our behalf. And they work hard behind the scenes every week.

Other churches may or may not observe this annual tradition. As a staff pastor and his wife, we have experienced both situations. We can tell you that a monetary gift is greatly appreciated. But even more so are the relationships, the words of encouragement, the prayers for our family, the invite to someone’s home or to coffee/lunch.

Many pastors in this country truly feel lonely. They feel isolated from real relationship. They may be experiencing their own challenges in raising young kids, financial stresses, personal health issues, extended family concerns, prodigal kids, depression and anxiety, or even marital issues.

In recent months, we were all wearing obvious masks. They were required. We never saw the real person behind each mask. As we coach leaders, we hear stories of ministry challenges. We love to encourage those leaders. We also know that many of them “wear a mask” each week as they carry burdens while doing their job to care for their flock. They prepare to present a message of hope when they may have their own struggles. They would never identify their burdens publicly.

October is a great time to honor them, but we would encourage you to keep them on your daily prayer list. They need that more than anything.

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