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.

October is Pastor Appreciation Month, a time to tangibly recognize pastors for jobs requiring the ability to: relate well to all people, communicate effectively to a wide range of ages, be knowledgeable about many topics in culture, theology and Scripture, provide crisis counseling and understand best uses of technology, fund raising and building codes – just to name a few.

Education and Clergy Development (E&CD) seeks to help Wesleyan churches care for pastors, spouses and families well. Studies show the most significant factor in clergy well-being, after call to ministry, is a positive relationship with the congregation. A healthy partnership between lay people and their pastor is an extremely significant key to the effectiveness and well-being of pastors and their families. A healthy partnership also has a direct and positive benefit for the church since it reaps the rewards of having a thriving pastor who can then focus on the needs of the congregation.

The following are 20 ideas local churches can use to demonstrate pastor appreciation in tangible ways. Also download a Pastor Appreciation note card to personalize and send to your pastor.

This fall, ECD hosts Breakaway, a clergy spouse connection at The Wesleyan Church Headquarters in Fishers, Indiana. The November 2-4 event focuses on inspiring and uplifting clergy spouses.

The Gathering is specifically designed to encourage and rejuvenate pastors and spouses. The next Gathering is set for January 9-11, 2019, in Orlando, Florida.

Also, a unique opportunity is on the horizon for pastors and spouses and other lay leaders. Wesleyans are invited to combine spiritual formation with personal renewal on an interactive discipleship cruise to Cuba and the Bahamas May 21-25, 2018. The Discipleship Cruise, the first for The Wesleyan Church, is hosted by Church Multiplication and Discipleship.

For more information, visit www.wesleyan.org/discipleshipcruise. November 15 is the reservation deadline.

In these and many other creative ways, The Wesleyan Church wants to fulfill 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. 5:13-14).

Appreciation, expressed in tangible, heartfelt ways, can go a long way in helping our pastors know they are truly valued. By showing appreciation, we can help our pastors experience a healthy sense of being loved that will surely be returned many times over as they continue to serve their people (us) with joy.