Because October is Clergy Appreciation month, I thought it might be a good time to turn the tables and consider the concept of “ministering to the minister.”
If you belong to a church, you know that clergy are always “on call” and available to provide counsel and support. What happens, though, when your pastor or priest needs pastoral care? These are human beings, after all, who can experience frustrations, disappointment, disillusionment, stress, and loneliness just like the rest of us.
Your congregation probably has some mechanism in place to provide support and counsel to clergy. It’s worth contemplating, though, particularly during Clergy Appreciation Month, how we can all support those who have been called to guide us.
Members of the clergy need our prayers and encouragement, just as we need and expect that support from them. Our clergy are people just like us – they make mistakes just as we do. They cannot please everyone all the time. We should not expect more from them than it is possible to give.
I read an interesting article recently that talked about the pastoral ministry as both greatly rewarding, but also very rigorous. It also made the point that the ministry can be somewhat lonely. When crises or serious difficulties occur, we have clergy we can turn to. When these types of situations strike clergy, however, where do they turn?
It seems that it might, at times, be quite lonely.
The writer indicated that the church is as spiritually healthy as its minister – a fact about which Satan is more than aware. God is the great Encourager. At the same time, we can also play a part in encouraging and supporting our clergy. We strengthen our congregation when we do so.
Of course we know that the Great Commission isn’t the exclusive responsibility of called and ordained clergy. Those words are intended for all Christians. However, those who enter the clergy have chosen a unique and important vocation. (It’s probably a little overwhelming at times, too.) This passage from the 10th Chapter of Romans is a wonderful description:
As it is written, “How beautiful
are the feet of those who bring good news!”
Be sure to support, and pray for, your clergy – this month, and throughout the year.
If you’re looking for a tangible way to convey your thanks and express encouragement, we have a beautiful line of personalized pastor appreciation plaques.