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Pastors

Thank you for celebrating and appreciating your pastoral staff.

WHY SHOULD WE HONOR PASTORS?

Is it important to set aside time each year to give recognition and affirmation to our clergy and their families. Many Pastors feel pressured to be the ideal role model of a Christian family—which is impossible, of course. Many feel their families are negatively impacted by unrealistic expectations.

God has entrusted our Pastors to the spiritual well-being of His flock. When a pastor becomes weary, the very souls of his or her church community are endangered.

Financially, Pastors typically make substantially less each year than their own board embers and deacons. It is important to also understand the financial sacrifice many Pastors make to serve their church.

This October, churches across our state will be celebrating Pastor Appreciation Day & Month! This year Sunday, October 10th has been designated as Pastor Appreciation Day. We are excited to join with Minnesota boards and churches in praying for our lead pastors and pastoral leadership teams across the state.

The past 18 months have been full of uncertainty and enormous pressure for our pastors. During these challenging times, we encourage you to pray daily for blessing, favor, anointing, vision and stamina for your pastors. They will be encouraged to know that their board and their church is behind them, praying for them, and supporting them! Like Paul says in I Thes 5:12 (MSG VERSION), overwhelm your pastors with appreciation and love.

We encourage your church board to set aside a special day to honor the pastors at your church. Thank you for partnering with us as we do our best to bless the pastors of Minnesota!

HOW CAN YOU SHOW APPRECIATION?

Focus on the Family gives some great ideas.

“Now we ask you, brothers, to respect those who work hard among you, who are over you in the Lord and who admonish you. Hold them in the highest regard in love because of their work. Live in peace with each other.” 1 Thess. 5:12-13

Appreciation & Celebration Ideas:

We hope that some of the following ideas may work for your congregation or may inspire you to create your own.

  • Host a card shower at which members and friends present either purchased or homemade greeting cards to each pastor’s family. Or, distribute blank thank-you notes to be used for expressing appreciation. Encourage those participating in these types of events to be as specific as possible in their praise, revisiting favorite sermons or moments when the pastor’s ministry made a difference.
  • A full-scale plan of recognition might include a banquet, a special ceremony during a worship service, special guests or speakers, a church family reunion of present and former members, gifts, plaques, flowers or an open letter of appreciation in the local newspaper. A more casual approach might simply involve a moment of recognition during a morning service.
  • Team up with your local Christian bookstore or radio station to recognize and honor your pastoral families through activities and/or gifted resources.
  • Submit an open letter to your local newspaper to announce to the community your genuine appreciation for your pastoral staff and their families.
  • Have a super text event. Choose a day and have people text the pastor hourly with a heartfelt message of how he has touched their lives.
  • Provide a testimony time during a worship service for those involved in the church’s various ministries to share the joy they experience in serving the church. Have them emphasize the blessing one receives in using
    God-given gifts for the benefit of the body.
  • Plan a special banquet in honor of your pastor. Have guest speakers and an
    entertaining program that highlight the accomplishments of the church under the pastor’s leadership. Prepare a “This is Your Life” show or celebrity roast. If such an event is not possible, arrange for several embers
    of the congregation to take the pastoral staff and their families to lunch or dinner.
  • Schedule a “thank you flash mob.” Have various groups of people stand up during the service and shout out “We love you pastor!” or “Thank you pastor, you are great!” (preferably not during the sermon).

By the Numbers

  • 72% of the pastors report working between 55 to 75 hours per week.
  • 84% of pastors feel they are on call 24/7.
  • 80% believe pastoral ministry has negatively affected their families.
  • Many pastor’s children do not attend church now because of what the church has done to their parents.
  • 23% of pastors report being distant to their family.
  • 78% of pastors report having their vacation and personal time interrupted with ministry duties or expectations.
  • 65% of pastors feel they have not taken enough vacation time with their family over the last 5 years.
  • 28% of pastors report having feelings of guilt for taking personal time off and not telling the church.
  • 66% of church members expect a minister and family to live at a higher moral standard than themselves. Moral values of a Christian is no different than those who consider themselves as non-Christians.
  • 53% of pastors report that the seminary did not prepare them for the ministry.
  • 90% of pastors report the ministry was completely different than what they thought it would be like before they entered the ministry.
  • 45% of pastors spend 10-15 hours a week on sermon preparation.
  • 85% of pastors report the use of the internet and other resources have improved their study time compared to when they first started their ministry.
  • 95% of pastors report not praying daily or regularly with their spouse.
  • 57% of pastors believe they do not receive a livable wage.
  • 57% of pastors being unable to pay their bills.
  • 53% of pastors are concerned about their future family financial security.
  • 75% of pastors report significant stress-related crisis at least once in their ministry.
  • 80% of pastors and 84% of their spouses have felt unqualified and discouraged as role of pastors at least one or more times in their ministry.
  • 35% of pastors report the demands of the church denies them from spending time with their family.
  • 52% of pastors feel overworked and cannot meet their church’s unrealistic expectations.
  • 54% of pastors find the role of a pastor overwhelming.
  • 40% report serious conflict with a parishioner at least once in the last year.
  • 80% of pastors expect conflict within their church.
  • 35% of pastors battle depression or fear of inadequacy.
  • 26% of pastors report being over fatigued.
  • 28% of pastors report they are spiritually undernourished.
  • 70% of pastors report they have a lower self-image now than when they first started.
  • 57% of pastors feel fulfilled but yet discouraged, stressed, and fatigued.
  • 71% of churches have no plan for a pastor to receive a periodic sabbatical.
  • 66% of churches have no lay counseling support.
  • 1 out of every 10 pastors will actually retire as a pastor.

Statistics provided by The Fuller Institute, George Barna, Lifeway, Schaeffer Institute of Leadership Development, and Pastoral Care Inc.

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