Pastors in light of ministry are often seen at their best - Inspirational. Spiritual Heroes. Never a gloomy day. Let's shed some light on their lives.
By Julie Teo
Pastor. What does that title mean? Pastors are people called by God to shepherd His people, the flock. He or she chooses to set aside personal ambitions to serve God’s purposes. It is a high calling that many are intimidated by.
When the word pastor is mentioned, what image does your mind conjure? A person with a lit-up face and warm smile, greeting church goers? Perhaps. But is a pastor’s job as effortless as it looks?
As spiritual shepherds, pastors have many practical responsibilities. They have people to call and meet. They sit and plan with co-workers. They contact newcomers and keep in touch with members. They visit the sick in their homes and hospital wards. They officiate at funerals and weddings. They conduct baby dedications and house blessings.
They also have their own homes to lead. They must not forget to visit their parents. If they’re married, they need to connect with their spouses and children. They also have in-laws to please.
In a large church like ours, they have meetings with different pastoral staff and lay leaders. They conduct trainings and seminars. They may even need to be involved in our church’s weeknight services.
Before giving a sermon, they can spend hours preparing before finally delivering it. Finally, they try to find ‘me-time’ to recuperate, which may be jettisoned by an unexpected ministry call.
A pastor’s private life can get quite lonely. They need to strike a balance between ministry, their own walk with God, family, hobbies, and time with friends. When they struggle, they may get frustrated, impatient, and can lose their cool. Married pastors may have disagreements with their spouses and may have children who are struggling or less enthusiastic about church.
We’d think a pastor with strong faith could easily cope with just about anything in life. After all, they seem to always have answers to our problems. We expect them to be strong in the face of adversity; simply put, to be perfect in the faith.
But we live in a fallen world. Pastors are normal people, just like you and me. Pastors face temptations and unanswered prayers. They get dejected and discouraged. They are not superhuman. They, too, need a shoulder to lean on. How have we supported them?
The idea of showing honor and appreciation is not new – it is mentioned in the Bible. The Apostle Paul wrote about it in 1 Timothy 5:17, “Let the elders who rule well be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in preaching and teaching.”
Pastors may not always get things right or do what pleases us, but for their labor in the Lord, we are to give them honor.
October is Honor Pastors’ Month, a time in the year where we can intentionally celebrate our pastors by showing our love and appreciation
Here are some ways you can give the gift of appreciation:
Write them a handwritten note
Gift them with a shopping/restaurant gift card or voucher
Invite their family over for meal (while following Singapore's current Safe Management Measures)
Arrange for a meal to be delivered to their home for them to enjoy with their family
Plan a staycation for them
Provide a service that you can do well – like fixing things around the house, helping to solve IT issues, or professional advice
Offer to take care of their children for an evening so they can have a date night with their spouse
Showing our pastors appreciation should be an ongoing gesture, but if you haven’t done anything for them before, Honor Pastors’ Month is a good time to start!
Let’s show our love and appreciation for our pastors’ tireless effort and labor of love.
Reflect & Respond
How can you see your pastors through new eyes? Pray a blessing of strength for them this week.
Send in your words of appreciation to our pastors! Check out our Honor Pastors’ Month 2021 Padlet at: www.bit.ly/Trinity_HPM21