October is Pastor Appreciation Month: 10 Suggestions from Brad Whitt

by Jared Moore on October 13, 2012 · 37 comments

Brad Whitt pastors Abilene Baptist Church in Augusta, GA. Last year he wrote a great article about appreciating your pastor(s) titled “Top Ten Gifts to Give Your Pastor.”┬áMost of these gifts can be given the entire year:

1. Your Prayers.

2. Your love.

3. Your unconditional support.

4. A little grace.

5. A “good word” to your pastor.

6. A “good word” for your pastor.

7. Your faithfulness.

8. Time with his family.

9. Time by himself.

10. A financial gift.

You can read the rest of Whitt’s article here. He offers some explanation for each point he lists above. I highly recommend it.

What are your thoughts?

1 Tom Fillinger October 13, 2012 at 8:54 am

The people God has privileged me to serve for 15 years do these things. I came 15 years ago as Interim. They never did call me as ‘Pastor’! Just proves it is not the title but the relationship and the leadership that really counts. If you lead, they will follow.

In 4 weeks I will say as Paul did to those in Acts 20 – I commend you to God. The first 5 years were brutal. The last 10 have been what I believe God intends for a Pastor/Elder & people relationship. They absorbed sound doctrine like a sponge. They rejoiced to hear the Truth. I will see their face again in that City whose Builder and Maker is God and we will resume praising the King of Kings and Lord of Lords – TOGETHER!

2 Jeremy Parks October 13, 2012 at 2:04 pm

I would add “a good word about the pastor to others.”

When member stand up for their leaders in the face of opposition from within the church, it leads others to affirm their leadership. When a pastor hears about it, it is an uplifting event.

3 cb scott October 13, 2012 at 2:19 pm

#11. If your pastor lives in a SEC NATION, buy him 50 yard line tickets to the Homecoming game. He will preach better. This is a proven fact.

#12. If your pastor lives in a Lesser FOOTBALL Nation Conference, buy him front row tickets between third base and home plate for a MLB World Series Game. He will preach better. This is also a proven fact.

4 Doug Hibbard October 13, 2012 at 3:36 pm

For what that would cost, you could pay for your pastor’s DirecTV so that he could watch all the games :)

5 Bruce H. October 13, 2012 at 2:23 pm

One of the things God requires is obedience. What would a pastor do if he had just 10 people obedient when he proclaimed God’s truth? I do that and the pastor trusted me enough to take over the Wednesday night services on 2 occasions when he was out. Obedience is not lip service, it is showing up at the events he endorses and expects an audience. What would that kind of unity create? As a SS teacher, I encourage my class to get involved in things the pastor expresses are needed. That is what every pastor wants, teachers who support in presence what he has claimed God wants us to do. Be a doer.

6 Bob Cleveland October 13, 2012 at 2:26 pm

I would also add #13 (thanks for saving this for me .. I was married on Friday the 13th, you know…): get involved in local & state association and SBC matters. Attend the meetings. This fact has led to big improvements in what was already an excellent relationship between my pastor (of 30+ years) and me.

And, by the way, study the Baptist Faith & Message. I think a pastor like it when members know what Baptists believe.

7 Bruce H. October 13, 2012 at 3:17 pm

Amen to the BFM. Right on.

8 Doug Hibbard October 13, 2012 at 3:37 pm

I would add this: an effort to make sure your pastor sits down with other pastors that will help challenge and sharpen him.

And allowance of time for your pastor to bicker with bloggers, since he’s liable to do that anyway.

9 cb scott October 13, 2012 at 3:54 pm

Good point.

BTW, the MIZZOU NATION just met Eddie Lacy.

ROLL TIDE ROLL!!!

10 Ben Coleman October 13, 2012 at 4:06 pm

When I try to round the corners on the box, the corners break, and the detergent spills out.

11 Doug Hibbard October 13, 2012 at 4:19 pm

Honestly, have you ever spilled Tide?

That stuff goes everywhere, runs all over everything.

Sadly, it even washes away bacon and other porcine products.

12 Dale Pugh October 13, 2012 at 4:45 pm

We use the liquid stuff. Unscented. Which means it doesn’t stink like some other things “tide-ish”.

13 Ben Coleman October 13, 2012 at 5:14 pm

The liquid stuff comes in an oblong bottle, which doesn’t roll well either.

14 Christiane October 13, 2012 at 4:52 pm

BEN, get one of those large bin-shaped plastic containers for dog food that you can buy in a Petsmart (or Walmart) . . . buy a ‘scooper’ . . . ‘decant’ your TIDE from the box into the plastic bin, place the scoop inside, close the sealing lid, and store in a cool, dry area (laundry room or nearby) until needed. No more frayed corners.

15 John Fariss October 13, 2012 at 6:14 pm

You people have done quite preaching and started meddlin’. C.B., I can’t remember for sure: is dissing the Great Football Power in Tuscaloosa the unforgivable sin?

John

16 Dave Miller October 13, 2012 at 6:32 pm

As far as I am concerned, John, it is a marker of great character.

17 cb scott October 13, 2012 at 6:38 pm

John,

There was once a prophet who had some problems with some disrespectful children. Two she-bears ripped them asunder.

Can you imagine what two Crimson Elephants could do to these unruly children?

Nonetheless, I must confess that the MIZZOU NATION has proven to be a hard little Tiger-cat to clean after. They are showing themselves SEC worthy against the GREAT TIDE.

18 Ben Coleman October 13, 2012 at 8:15 pm

But Christiane:

After I do all of that, will I be able to roll the Tide? IIRC, those containers are usually rather rectangular, even if they do have rounded corners. Rectangles, even with rounded corners, don’t roll well.

19 Christiane October 13, 2012 at 8:21 pm

Ahh, I see your problem . . . I’ll have to think about this for a while, maybe we can work out a solution using hamster balls . . .
:)

20 Ben Coleman October 13, 2012 at 9:28 pm

CB: Oh, now I understand. With all of those animals (elephants, etc) engaging in violence and mayhem, you need the Tide to clean up the bloodstains afterwards (though I still think Clorox might be preferable to Tide).

21 Ben Coleman October 13, 2012 at 9:37 pm

And of course, since you’re cleaning up bloodstains, it’s not surprising that you end up with crimson Tide.

(Sorry. As an inveterate punster, I could not resist the pun)

22 Jess Alford October 14, 2012 at 9:12 am

Jared Moore,

Thank you for this blog, there is not enough of them. I have heard members of other churches complain about how much their pastor gets paid. I always answer, it’s only one tenth of what he should get paid.

Roast preacher has been the subject of too many dinners. We must remember he has dedicated his life to God. He is with you when you are sick, he is with you when your children are sick, and he is with you when there is death in the family.

He tries to lift you up, when you are down. He encourages, comforts, and prays for you when no one else will. He hurts when you hurt , and is glad when you are. He does all this, while trying to keep proper balance in his own family.

You may not hear God’s word from any one else, But you will hear it from your pastor, because of his love for you. Let him know you appreciate him and will be praying for him. Let the pastor know you love him.

U.K. Wildcats almost put a whooping on the Razorbacks the other night.
Go Cats…….

Too many pastors try to feed folks that have alligator appetites, while he is on a hummingbirds salary.

23 Christiane October 14, 2012 at 3:09 pm

being ‘on-call’ 24/7 is something that most people wouldn’t comprehend, and yet many pastors are sought out during family emergencies at all hours, so we are not looking at someone who has an even guaranteed time to rest from the day’s work . . . and on The Day Of Rest, well . . . that, too is taken, although for the best of reasons

Having thought about this, maybe a good THREE-WEEKS time-out would be a wonderful gift:
why three weeks?
the first week (hopefully away) just to REALIZE you are not ‘on-call’, and you can ‘decompress’ and sleep . . .

the second week (hopefully away) . . . to enjoy

the third week . . . a time of reflection, of prayer, a time to give thanks, in short, a time of renewal in Christ . . . a time to be at peace

yep . . . about three weeks break is an appropriate MINIMUM gift to give to someone who is there for you and your family 24/7

24 William Thornton October 15, 2012 at 10:25 am

While many occupations do indeed have 24/7 responsibilities and pastors tend to overplay this card as a way of declaring their woefully difficult responsibilities, I do like the idea of a month off. Call it a mini-sabbatical after five years or so of faithful service or after an especially arduous time (building program, transition, etc.) at a church.

I wrote about that a few months ago:
http://sbcplodder.blogspot.com/2012/08/pastor-how-about-month-off.html

Or…take the usual route to an extended time off – get fired, resign, or retire.

25 Christiane October 15, 2012 at 4:22 pm

Thanks for that link, WILLIAM.

my goodness, any person in the Church who says to the pastor ‘you only work one day a week’ ought to be required to spend a week shadowing the pastor just to experience what goes on . . .

26 cb scott October 14, 2012 at 11:11 pm

I recently had contact with a church that will have a luncheon for the whole “staff” next weekend rather than taking a specific day to recognize the pastor.

I think that is in poor taste. I also think it is a cheap way to say as a church, “Yes, we recognized our pastor in October.”

How would we like it if you came home and your family was celebrating your birthday along with everyone else’s in the neighborhood who was born in October? How “appreciated” would you feel?

I think a church should use October to show appreciation to the pastor and the pastor alone. The rest of the staff can be appreciated at another time and the pastor should lead the way in staff appreciation.

I also noticed that this same church reduced the pastor’s benefits in the budget as of October 1 also.

I think that is poor. The church reduced the pastor’s income and benefits and are going to have a “pot-luck” dinner to tell him and the whole staff how much they “appreciate” him all in the same month.

I think the pastor in this case has had his “luck potted” by this loving and thoughtful church.

27 Louis October 15, 2012 at 9:04 am

The best thing to do for pastor appreciation is … scrap Pastor Appreciation Month.

28 Bob Cleveland October 15, 2012 at 10:30 am

I would also add that churches ought to stop having Senior Pastors, Junior Pastors, Old Fogey (I really had another word in mind) Pastors, Young Punk Pastors, Rugrat Pastors, and all that stuff. I think a church ought to have one Pastor. He is the Pastor over the whole church, including all the staff members who minister to others in the church, which is what the others ought to be called.

Ministers.

I think it’s a mark of respect.

29 Greg Harvey October 15, 2012 at 10:43 am

We refer to our graybeard engineers as OFEs: Old “Fogey” Engineers (substitute the word that Bob didn’t use…)

I prefer the lead overseer adopt the term “Undershepherd” since we only have one Shepherd. All of the members are ministers. Some receive a portfolio that includes financial support so they can enable and train the others, but not so they can do all the ministry for the others.

I think calling them “staff” makes a WHOLE lot more sense if you refer to your pastor as the “Undershepherd”…see what I did there?

30 Bob Cleveland October 15, 2012 at 10:55 am

Paul said in Ephesians 4, that God gave “some” to be pastors. That indicates he put some walkin’ talkin’ guys in our midst to do that, so that’s what I call’em. But the idea is that a church ought to have one who’s responsible for the flock.

As my best friend once said .. “Anyone in the church should be able to point to one man and say “That’s my pastor”.”

31 Mark October 15, 2012 at 4:16 pm

Bob, are you opposed to having a plurality of pastors then?

32 Jess Alford October 15, 2012 at 3:51 pm

cb scott,

You are right on, someone needs to bring you a turkey dinner. I don’t think a pastor overplays anything as William Thornton has said. If a pastor plays all 52 cards that’s ok too.

33 Jess Alford October 15, 2012 at 3:54 pm

Louis,

why do you want to scrap pastor appreciation month?

34 Mark October 15, 2012 at 4:21 pm

Oh yeah, what about church member appreciation month?

35 Chris Roberts October 15, 2012 at 5:09 pm

I’ll tell you what my parents used to tell me when I would ask why there was a mother’s day and a father’s day but no children’s day: every day is children’s day!

36 Mark October 15, 2012 at 6:48 pm

Let me have that pedestal bronzed for you. ;)

37 Jess Alford October 15, 2012 at 6:29 pm

Mark,

If I were your pastor, and you attended twelve services in a month, I certainly would appreciate you.

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