Every October across North America churches give special attention to appreciating their pastors in tangible ways. Studies have shown that one of the most significant factors for clergy well-being is the support pastors feel from their congregations. A partnership between you and your pastor(s) is highly significant for their effectiveness and well-being. This leads to direct benefits for both your church and your pastor. Why not plan now to do something special for your pastor(s) this October (or anytime)?
Below are some ideas and resources for offering the kind of encouragement and affirmation that will help your pastor(s) and their spouse(s) flourish and strengthen your partnership. We also want to highlight the following two significant ideas so you can begin to plan now:
- Send your pastor and spouse to the The Gathering, January 9-12, 2019. This once-every-four-year event is specifically designed to refresh and encourage pastors and spouses. Support your pastors by providing funds to enable them to attend. The response from pastors and spouses who attended in 2015 was overwhelmingly positive (If you are interested in doubling your dollars to send your pastor to The Gathering see the next idea).
- Enroll with your pastor in the Thrive Financial Initiative (TFI). Thanks to a significant grant from the Lilly Endowment, Education & Clergy Development is able to offer matching grants with local churches and/or districts to help address financial challenges faced by clergy, things such as debt, future pension, health care costs, and more. Visit https://secure.wesleyan.org/tfi to learn more about the Thrive Financial Initiative including how to enroll! (If you enroll your pastor in TFI, any funds you invest in sending your pastor(s) to The Gathering would be eligible for matching dollars!)
In addition to the two major ways above you can encourage your pastor and spouse, we’ve developed 20 additional ideas for your church to show appreciation for your pastor(s) and spouse(s).
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). May God bless you lavishly for your faithful service to the church.
Together in faith, let’s expect God to do great things in the coming months to affirm and appreciate the pastors and spouses of The Wesleyan Church.