Clergy Appreciation Day is celebrated the second Sunday in October which is October 8th. Don’t forget to celebrate those who serve in the ministry as well as their families. Pastors are vital to our families, churches and our communities and should be celebrated for all they do. Scriptures supports honoring clergy “Let the elders who rule well be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in preaching and teaching (1 Timothy 5:17 ESV).
Churches celebrate their pastor’s and clergy in various ways. Some churches go all out and have a special event for their spiritual leader while others celebrate during the pastor’s work anniversary month. Regardless of what your church does, you can celebrate clergy in your life by showing your appreciation in various ways. Showing up for church and really hearing the sermon he/she has toiled over is a start.
In some cases the day is celebrated by honoring not only the pastor but also his/her family, particularly the spouse. They are the ones who help the pastor to manage a demanding schedule including being on call 24/7. Spouses and children have had to take a back seat when the church needs the pastor. I know firsthand being the wife of a senior pastor.
Our church celebrates my husband’s work anniversary every year and it just so happens to fall in the month of October. This year he is celebrating 28 years as the senior pastor of the Second Baptist Church of Olathe. Each year, speakers are selected to say kind words about he and I and we are blessed with wonderful gifts. We are busy getting ready for the festivities.
I think what I enjoy most about the festivities is the opportunity to sit with my husband. Sitting together is a rare event since he is always in the pulpit. What I also appreciate is that I have a moment at the end of the program where I get to thank my husband for being a wonderful pastor and husband. He also makes sure to acknowledge my contribution to his ministry and publicly shows appreciation to me. I am thankful I have a grateful, caring husband who speaks loving words about me and to me all the time both at home and at church.
In a article by author Thom Rainer, pastor’s wives have complained that their husband does not give them priority. Wives have murmured that their husband’s energy is focused so much on the church that they feel like a mistress to their husband. When I read those words my heart was saddened because pastor’s wives deserve so much more including a fulfilling marriage.
I recently ran across an article about Lionel Richie and why he wrote the top selling hit “Three Times a Lady”. According to the article, the idea came from his father. One day as his family was eating a meal together, his father gave a toast to their mother and it wasn’t even her birthday or Mother’s Day. In his toast he saluted her for being a great lady, a great mother and a great friend. The kids thought he was nuts, but I’m sure Mrs. Richie cherished that moment and the song forever.
As a pastor if you have been guilty of not giving your wife priority, why not take advantage of clergy appreciation day to show your wife some love? Take the time to tell her she is important to you and you appreciate all that she does. Don’t stop there, make sure she knows how much you love her and need her. To all pastors and wives, Happy Clergy Appreciation Day and here’s to the First Lady!
Janice R Love, Author
First Lady, Mom, Stepmom and Divorce Ministry Coach