Our pastors on the Southern Florida District are amazing people. They are men and women of God who have obediently responded to a call from God to give their lives in service to the Kingdom of Christ and to those for whom Jesus died. I witnessed their dedication and sacrifice during the last few weeks, as Hurricane Irma passed over Florida and affected our entire area. Pastors helped their people prepare for the storm. I saw them go “above and beyond” expectations. Many pastors were helping congregants and neighbors put up storm shutters and get ready with vital supplies. Those with church buildings certified as shelters opened their doors and many rode out the storm inside the church building with dozens of people and pets. After the storm, they distributed water and food and helped clear debris. Some are still doing that in the most affected areas of the district. Throughout the storm and its aftermath, they preached a message of hope and of the faithfulness of God. They allowed their churches to be agents of compassion and care in their communities. I couldn’t be more proud of our pastors and churches.
October is traditionally recognized as Clergy Appreciation Month. It’s a time when church congregations honor pastoral staff and their families. I want to ask our church boards and congregations to “go above and beyond” in expressing appreciation to the ministers in your church this month. Be creative! Be lavishly generous! Be fun! Honor and love on your pastors. Not only do they need that affirmation from time to time, but a congregation is healthier when it genuinely recognizes and celebrates the gift they have in their pastors. While boards and congregations can “officially and publicly” recognize their pastors in many ways this month, individual parishioners may also express their love and gratitude directly.
Helps and ideas are available via Focus on the Family.
Here is the link to the Clergy Appreciation Month webpage from Focus on the Family: http://www.parsonage.org/cam/index.cfm
The Spanish Guide to Clergy Appreciation Month is also available at the following link: http://www.parsonage.org/images/pdf/CAMesp.pdf
Brian E. Wilson
Southern Florida District Church of the Nazarene