Did you know that October is Clergy Appreciation Month? It was introduced in the United States in the 1990s but throughout church history people have taken time to thank their leaders.

“The elders who direct the affairs of the church well are worthy of double honour, especially those whose work is preaching and teaching.” (1 Timothy 5:17 NIV)

Although many ministers love what they do, and often feel they could do nothing other than answer God’s call to ministry, being a minister can be challenging. Clergy often work long hours, taking time away from their own spiritual needs and the needs of their families. They often shelve their own grief to support others who are suffering. The church is undergoing many changes and challenges and often ministers are expected to be a calming presence in the midst of uncertainty.

Let your minister(s) know that they are making a difference! Here are 10 ways you can appreciate your clergy in October, or anytime!

  1. Pray for your minister and those in church leadership.

  2. Write a thank you note (or several) to those leaders who have made a difference in your church. You could write to current leaders, those who made an impact in the past, and even consider writing a note to someone that you think could lead in the future!

  3. Ask your minister why they are a minister and what they love about it. Have you ever heard their story of how they entered ministry? Ask them to share their understanding of ministry in a service or during coffee hour.

  4. Talk to other church leaders and find out why they are so involved. Why do they offer up their time and energy to the church? How do they understand the work of ministry?

  5. Send an email or letter of appreciation and encouragement. Explain why someone’s contributions make a difference to you.  

  6. Invite a minister or other church leader out for a coffee, or invite them over for a meal.

  7. Take some photos of your minister and church leaders in action. You could create a collage or slideshow.

  8. Collect artwork or stories from children, youth, and adults that demonstrate why they value their minister and church leaders. Present it or make copies for the whole congregation.

  9. Get creative and consider a unique way that you might show appreciation for your minister. For example, if your minister enjoys hiking, maybe organize a congregational hiking day!

  10. Consider the people in your congregation. Does someone have gifts for ministry and leadership? Let them know! Ask them if they’ve ever considered ministry. Appreciating our neighbour’s gifts for ministry can only strengthen the Body of Christ.

Thank you to all our ministers who do so much for our church each and every day!

bcorlett [at] united-church.ca (Rev. Bronwyn Corlett)Program Coordinator, Ministry Recruitment.

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