Clergy Appreciation Month is a special time each October that congregations set aside to honor pastors and their families for their hard work, commitment and sacrificial dedication.  “Clergy Appreciation Month recognizes the call of God in the lives of men, women and couples to full-time Christian service,” said H.B. London, Jr., vice president of Pastoral Ministries at Focus on the Family. “It is to call to the attention of the American public the contribution their spiritual leaders make in our society. Our world would be a much darker place if it were not for their faithfulness and Christlike example.”

Focus on the Family address the question, “Why should we honor our pastors?” by saying:

“Why is it appropriate to set aside a special time each year to give recognition and affirmation to our clergy and their families? How are their needs and circumstances different from those of any other job or profession?

One distinction lies in the nature of the service these leaders provide. God has entrusted to them one of the most precious of assignments—the spiritual well-being of His flock. When a pastor becomes weary, the very souls of his or her church community are endangered.

Numerous surveys have found that a very high percentage of pastors feel pressure to be the ideal role model of a Christian family—which is impossible, of course. As a result, four out of five pastors feel their families are negatively impacted by unrealistic expectations—whether self-imposed or congregation-imposed—and that ministry is an outright hazard to the health of their families. Indeed, the “pedestal” is not all it’s cracked up to be. As pastors and their families try to please the God who called them to ministry while also trying to meet the expectations of their congregations, one result is dangerous stress. In fact, 75 percent of those surveyed reported experiencing a significant stress related crisis at least once in their ministry.

Pastors typically make substantially less each year than their own board members and deacons. Nearly 70 percent of pastoral spouses work outside the home, most often due to financial need.”

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