Impacting Cities & Communities thru Prayer
A Community of Prayer Champions, Praying Churches, Prayed-for Communities
Appreciate your pastoral leaders who gave you the Word of God. (Heb. 13:7, The Message)
Think about your pastors and the long hours they put in, the criticisms they face, the personal sacrifices their families make. They do all this to serve as the shepherd of your flock.
"Serve one another in love," encourages the apostle Paul (Gal. 5:13, The Message). What better way to serve your pastor than to honor him or her on Pastor Appreciation Day? Your remembrance can be large or small, detailed or simple, but whatever you choose to do, you can be assured that your pastor will appreciate it.
A good way to start planning for Pastor Appreciation Day is to spend time in prayer for your pastors and their families.
FIRST-PERSON: Encourage your pastor on Minister Appreciation Day Diana Davis Posted on Oct 3, 2011 EDITOR’S NOTE: National Clergy Appreciation Day is the second Sunday in October (Oct. 9), although some churches pick other dates in which to celebrate it. INDIANAPOLIS (BP) — They chatted, teary-eyed, about the enormous encouragement... Read more of this article
SCOTT DEPOT, WV (ANS) -- Most pastors have a wife because most pastors are men. There are, however, an increasing number of pastors who are women and their husband is a man. The pastor's spouse is a very important part of the pastoral team.
My Kitty has served as a leader for various women's ministries in the church, locally and statewide. She has been a role model and mentor for young people on the local, state, national and international levels. The same is true for her musical ability as a soloist, choir member, choir director, pianist, organist and in many other ways including numerous radio and television appearances and for conferences and conventions in many parts of the world.
Her executive abilities as an office administrator, writing and secretarial skills and winsome personality have been extremely valuable for me and others with whom she has worked on every level from the local community and church to national and worldwide service.
As I think of women pastors I have known, women who were skilled in pastoral responsibilities and had a national preaching reputation, all had husbands who were not preachers, but were prominent in business, labor and professional vocations.
Lillie McGuire was a well-known preacher and pastor. She was the mother of the McGuire Sisters, her three beautiful daughters whose concert and television appearances in the 1950's and beyond and their millions of records made them world famous. Her husband, Asa, gave her full support in every possible way. He was skilled in numerous ways. I knew these parents and spent days in their home.
Dr. Wilma Perry was an attractive and successful pastor in Eugene, Oregon, and later an author and professor at Warner Pacific College in Portland. Her handsome husband, Clarence Perry, prominent businessman, a nationally known for his ability as a music director and service on national boards for his church. Clarence and Wilma were our dear friends.
Esther Boyer Kirkpatrick Bauer, was a noted leader in Christian Education, and for years a distinguished pastor in Washington, D. C. Her preacher brother, Dr. Harold W. Boyer, was a writer of books, a national church leader, notable convention speaker and pastor of Kitty's home church and the minister who performed our wedding ceremony.
Our magnetic young pastor, the Rev. Dr. Melissa Pratt, one of the nation's most effective preachers as well as outstanding vocalist and writer, is totally supported by her husband, the Rev. Thom Pratt, a counselor and church administrator.
Usually the church pays one salary to the pastor and gets a talented spouse for little or nothing in terms of financial remuneration. I have believed for years "without Kitty, there would be no Bill." I cannot imagine my life and work without Kitty, who is the most talented lady I have ever known.
While churches during the month of October are expressing appreciation for their pastor, I would urge them to also recognize fully and show tremendous and generous appreciation for the pastor's spouse.
In the beginning God gave these instructions, "Therefore a man shall . . . be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh" (Genesis 2:24). Jesus in the first book of the New Testament repeated what God said in the first book of the Old Testament, "Have you not read that He who made them . . . said, . . . and the two shall become one flesh?" . . . "So then, they are no longer two but one flesh" (Matthew 19:4-6).
The pastor and his or her spouse probably work closer together in their one calling than in any marriage and vocation. Honor both the pastor and spouse and be deeply grateful for their children as well. Express your appreciation for the pastoral family. Pray daily for them.
|Bill Ellis is a syndicated columnist, and convention and conference speaker on every continent. He is the writer of more than 2,000 newspaper and magazine columns, articles and contributions to books. He is also a widely known motivational speaker and pulpit guest who utilizes enjoyment of life and just plain fun and laughter while speaking to high school, university and professional sports teams as well as to business and professional groups of all kinds. His keen understanding of human problems makes him a favorite speaker for youth, parent, and senior adult meetings. He is accompanied by Kitty, his wife, favorite singer, editor and publisher.
For information on becoming a subscriber to the Ellis Column for your newspaper or magazine, you may contact him at: BILL ELLIS, P.O.Box 345, Scott Depot, WV 25560 or by calling: 304-757-6089.
Thursday, September 27, 2012
October is “Clergy Appreciation Month”
By Bill Ellis
Special to ASSIST News Service
SCOTT DEPOT, WV (ANS) -- In the United States and other parts of the world, October is observed as “Clergy Appreciation Month.” A pastor said, “It is my favorite month of the year.”
Some churches do everything they possibly can for their pastor. Their gratitude for a kind and loving shepherd is always being expressed. In what ways?
In the prime of my life, when energy and enthusiasm seemed to be without limitations, I was the shepherd of a flock that gathered in a sheepfold in Decatur, Illinois, at a place called Peoples Church of God.
The sheep I loved so much were led, cared for, looked after, guarded, protected, watched over, kept secure and escorted to shady green pastures and still waters. They were the pride and joy of my life. I cannot relive those unforgettable years except through memory and pictures. There has not been a day since I left that flock that they have not been alive in my memory. I’m grateful to the thousands of people I met in that great church and wonderful city.
Their appreciation expressed for Kitty and me, our children, Elizabeth and Mark, is an eternal blessing and benediction upon our lives.
Neither the sheep nor their shepherd were perfect. We all did the best we could. If you could really have “do-overs” in life, I would like to be the pastor again of all those people and, of course, know what I know now. If I had known then, what I know now, it would have spared all of us a lot of problems, heartaches and tears.
The words of St. Paul, as the result of his afflictions, are an encouragement to every pastor. “But none of these things move me; nor do I count life dear to myself, so that I may finish my race with joy, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God” (Acts 20-24).
It was my determination “. . . to shepherd the church of God which He (Christ) purchased with His own blood” (Acts 20:28).
I remember the night Jim Soules, chairman of the pulpit committee, called us at our house in Anderson, Indiana, and said, “It was unanimous – they all want you to come.” We arrived with our children, Elizabeth, four, and Mark, one, on August 1, 1964, and moved into a very modest house which became the happiest place we have ever lived in, at 605 Frank Drive, and for the longest time – 25 years.
The church provided for most of our unpretentious pension and Social Security checks. Kitty and I know where most of it comes from.
Paul Prince, Earl Waymire and Joe Page could repair most anything that went wrong at the parsonage. When the snows got deep, they plowed our driveway. Lawrence Maxedon and those who had gardens assisted us and others with fresh vegetables. The youth of the church raked our leaves. We were invited into many homes for a meal.
The congregation made it possible for us to attend the church’s conventions, visit areas of the world where we supported missionaries on every continent. Nona Cissna, the lady with the powerful and beautiful solo voice, kept a scrapbook each year for 23 years before she and Chuck moved to another state. She gave them to me. Another gift I treasure.
These are just a few of the many ways this precious church expressed appreciation for their pastor every day of every month. And for all our pastoral associates.
I encourage you who read this column to add to these suggestions in expressing your appreciation for your pastor. We moved from this beloved church and caring city 23 years ago, but our deep appreciation continues each day.
** You may republish this story with proper attribution.
Send this story to a friend. Share
This story is the personal opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of the ASSIST News Service or ASSIST Ministries.
PS> This poem is taken from Greg's book "Sunday Rhymes and Reasons" available through Amazon.com
This is Pastor Appreciation Month. There was a time when Pastors were appreciated because of their title. They were called Reverend because they were revered. They were called Brother because they were loved. No more. Because of the abusive actions of a few, and the investigative desires of many, today’s pastors must prove themselves before they are appreciated. As one who has served as an Interim Pastor in more than twenty churches, I have seen the “calling” process take longer and longer, often including intensive background checks and painful question and answer sessions, often before the entire congregation. We no longer deeply respect the position.
Now we thoroughly evaluate the person. Is this what Paul had in mind when he wrote to the believers in Thessalonica, “And we urge you, brethren, to recognize those who labor among you, and are over you in the Lord and admonish you, and to esteem them very highly in love for their work’s sake” (I Thessalonians 5:12-13). To “recognize” means to appreciate, to have a regard and respect for. Who they were is not mentioned. It is evident however, that the church was not left without appointed persons to minister to it. They were there “in the Lord”; called, gifted, and appointed. They did not take this position for themselves, nor were they appointed by men, but they were made able ministers by God. Christian ministers, who proclaim the whole truth, and labor in the service to others, are entitled to more than simply respect. They are to be “esteemed” abundantly “in love”. But, if Pastors are to be appreciated these days, they have to earn it, “for their work’s sake.” It no longer goes with the title. Sad, but true.
APPRECIATION FOR PASTOR BILL DEVLIN
I'd like to appreciate Pastor Bill Devlin here in NYC. He is a nationally known figure that fights for the religious rights of the church and is a member of a task force the Lord led me to start.
Pastor Bill was instrumental in leading the 4000 person protest when churches faced eviction out of NYC schools. He was awarded the parent of the year award in 2001 by President George Bush.
He was one of the pastors arrested for protesting against churches being evicted out of public schools.
He was recently arrested for trying to pray for the PA attorney general who refuses to enforce PA's DOMA (Defense Of Marriage) law.
Let's pray for pastor Bill who also travels abroad extensively to spread the gospel in dangerous countries (he is fearless and is a Vietnam war vet)
Pastor Michelle Morrison
Thanks for this Phil! Very insightful and blessed!
We tough and agree right now Lord that you would give strength to every leader EVERYWHERE who shepherds the flock. Uphold them with your right hand. Encourage them with the finances they need. Bless each and every one with necessary intercessory help. Let the intercessors understand that as they lift the head up, God will overflow their barrels.
All this we ask in Jesus' name!!