Walking in the Right Direction A column by Bill Ellenberger for The Daily Herald

When was the last time you showed your appreciation to your pastor? This column has shared with you numerous parts of the church, what they are and how they function. We have discussed more specially the role of the Spiritual Leader, Teacher, and Pastor. We talked about the role the pastor plays in relation to the church Lay-leaders, as well as the church body.
With all of the things going on in our lives, we can easily lose sight as to what our pastor does. We quickly think of their time in preparation for the Sunday message, their sermons and possible personal counseling to their parishioners.
Several years ago, the ministry, “Focus On The Family” along with some other organizations were instrumental in starting a program called “National Clergy Appreciation Month.” This is a special way for the congregation to say thank you to pastors and their families. Typically, it is scheduled sometime in October, but you can schedule the event anytime during the year that would be more appropriate for your church.
The individuals and their families are more than Spiritual Leaders, Teachers and Pastor to the local church. They are encouragers, mentors, and counselors, for some, our friend. Their families are can be identified as unique specimens of the fishbowl effect. Some of us want them to be our icon as the ideal family. To say the least it can be more like unrealistic expectations.
We can make a difference and recognize the pastor and family showing appreciation and give encouragement. Clergy Appreciation Month is a great way to show our thanks for all that they do for us.
How do we do this? You can do this in two parts.
1. Decide what you want to do personally; invitation to breakfast or lunch, offer a car wash, take the children out for a ice cream cone, cut their lawn, and baby-sit are just a few great ideas.
2. Share this concept with others in your church, establish a formal event, potluck, cover dish dinner, plant a tree, give a significant gift, new tires for the car, send cards, have the children of the church make cards, banners and artwork. Be creative! Make public service announcements of your observances for this event. Submit your Clergy Appreciation Month event information to your local paper. Do not forget to ask your local radio station to announce the event as well.
If you would like more information on what your church can do, contact Faithful Path at 814-684-0654 or go to Focus On The Family’s website of the Parsonage at www.parsonage.org. FOTF have developed a handy and concise Clergy Appreciation Month Planning Guide. This is step-by-step instructions of great suggestions. In addition, if you do not have access to a computer and/or the Internet, we have copies we can provide to you.
We at Faithful Path are committed to help you with this special celebration. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us today. October is here. Don’t wait for someone to bring the idea, act on this now. Wouldn’t it be exciting if all the churches in our area show their thanks to all of our clergy in the area. Make it happen! Last year some of you shared what you did for your pastor as an individual. If you didn’t do this last year, don’t let another year go by. This time, encourage others to join you. Make it special for your pastor.
Something to think about and act on it now!
Stay focused on the King, Bill

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