Being a pastor is widely recognized as one of the most difficult vocations in society. Every October, churches across North America pay tribute to pastors and their ministry with “Pastor Appreciation Month.”

The research partnership on clergy well-being between Education and Clergy Development and Dr. Matthew Bloom of the University of Notre Dame demonstrates the importance of caring for pastors. Research shows that pastors who experience personal support and appreciation from people in their church experience higher levels of well-being than those who do not sense that support.

“Of all the relationships we have studied, a pastor’s relationship with his or her local church is the one that has the greatest impact across dimensions of well-being,” said Bloom, who shares wisdom on the need for pastors to experience social support from those in their congregations. Bloom’s research also includes input from clergy from The Wesleyan Church.

One of the best ways congregants can show appreciation for pastors is to simply get to know him or her as individuals.

Below are some ideas and resources for offering the kind of encouragement and affirmation congregations can provide that will help pastors and spouses flourish:

  • Send your pastor and spouse to The Gathering, January 9-12, 2019, in Orlando, Florida. Held every four years, this event is specifically designed to refresh and encourage pastors and spouses. Providing funds and the time away that enables pastors to attend is an investment in not their health but in your congregation’s health as well.
  • Enroll your pastor in the Thrive Financial Initiative (TFI). Thanks to a significant grant from the Lilly Endowment, Education and Clergy Development can offer matching grants to local churches and/or districts helping them address financial challenges faced by clergy, such as debt, future pension, healthcare costs and more. Learn more about this opportunity for your pastor. By enrolling your pastors in TFI, all funds invested to send them to The Gathering are eligible to be matched through the normal TFI process. You can send your pastor to The Gathering and double your church dollars while doing so.
  • To learn other ways your church can show appreciation to pastors and their spouses, click here.

Thank you for living out the words of the Apostle Paul who wisely encouraged us “to respect those who work hard among you . . . hold them in the highest regard in love because of their work” (1 Thess. 5:12-13).

Together, in faith, let’s expect God to do great things in the coming months and years to affirm and appreciate the pastors and spouses of The Wesleyan Church.