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Let the elders who rule well be counted worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in the word and doctrine (1 Tim.5:17 NKJV).

October is a time when many churches honor pastors and staff. I have personally been blessed repeatedly across the years by a church that recognized our service, received an offering, gathered for a meal, collected cards from the congregation, and in other ways communicated to the church staff the depth of their gratitude. It was not a matter of our expectation, but of the church’s means of our encouragement.

God blesses the church that honors those who lead them and feed them. This is not a suggestion, but a command given under the inspiration of the Spirit, speaking through the Apostle Paul. It should not be done as a grudging obligation, but a glad occasion! Our staff found it to be fuel for our fire. We would walk out of those celebrations ready to charge hell with a water pistol!

Let me be frank—having a pastor who is a good and godly leader is vital to the well-being of your soul. There is an immense burden that they carry. It is not a 9-5 job, but basically 24/7. I know that as I led the Lord’s church, my responsibility was usually the first thing on my mind when I would awaken and the last thing I thought of as I went to sleep with few exceptions. Sometimes I even dreamed about it! Don’t let your pastor’s dreams be a nightmare!

What could you do this month?

Have a testimony each Sunday from someone who has been blessed by the ministry;

Plan a special day for a meal, a love offering, a guest speaker/singer, etc. where the staff can sit back and enjoy the service;

Put out a box for members to put cards and notes of appreciation;

Commit to being a prayer partner;

Get creative and use your imagination!

I am looking forward to speaking at my last pastorate, Pole Creek Baptist Church, on Staff Appreciation Day this year. They always do an amazing job and God has blessed them with a wonderful young pastor and other godly elders. It will be a different perspective for me in my new role as a shepherd of shepherds, so to speak.

Yours in Honoring the Church Staff,

Dennis Thurman, AMS

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