Did you know that October is Clergy Appreciation Month? Clergy is just a fancy word for pastor. While October is almost over, I don’t want you to miss the opportunity to show your pastor some love—whether it’s this month or not.
In fact, in 1 Timothy 4:13, Paul provides Timothy with a pastoral job description that still applies to the leaders of our churches today: “Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation, to teaching.”
According to God’s Word, a pastor’s primary job is to teach God’s Word to other believers. It is impossible for the Church to exist without God’s Word, and pastors feed it to us in regular doses week after week. It’s a pretty big job with huge stakes. Maybe you’ve never considered the task God has assigned to your pastor. You may also not realize how difficult it is to lead a church. Here are some alarming statistics about pastors:
- 90% of pastors state that they are frequently fatigued and worn out on a daily basis.
- 71% of pastors state they are burned out and they battle depression beyond fatigue.
- 1500 pastors leave the ministry each month due to moral failure, spiritual burnout, or contention in their churches.
- 80% of seminary and Bible school grads who enter the ministry will leave the ministry within the first five years.
- 70% of pastors do not have close personal friends, and no one in whom to confide.
These may seem like problems too big for us to tackle, but the stakes are too high for us to all bury our heads in the sand. If our pastors are too burned out, stressed out, and disconnected to stay the course, we loose traction in our efforts to preach Jesus to a lost world, and those of us who know Jesus miss out on much needed teaching from God’s Word.
You may not be able to do much about the 90% of pastors who are fatigued or the 80% of seminary students who will leave the ministry and never come back. But you can do something for the one pastor who leads the church where you go to learn more about God.
So, I want to issue you a challenge to do something radical for your pastor this month. An email would suffice, a card or note would work too, but in light of the fact that pastors are a huge part of God’s plan for the Church, and the grim reality that so many of them are struggling, I want to urge you to do something . . . bigger!
What can you do to bless the socks off your pastor this month? Talk to other people from your church and come up with a big idea for some pastor encouragement intervention. Then leave a comment and tell us about it. Do so by October 31 and we’ll give away copies of Don’t Waste Your Life, a book by one of my favorite pastors, John Piper, to the five of you that I think appreciate your pastors in the biggest and best ways.
I officially declare October Show Our Pastors Some Crazy Love Because The Church Can’t Tick Without Them Month. Go ahead, mark that on your calendar, and give your pastor a reason to mark it on his.