Tammy Tervooren is the director of Ministers Financial Health. Karl Fickling is the coordinator of Interim Church Services.
The church is only as healthy as its ministers. If a minister is burnt out, ministry suffers. If a pastor is leading on empty, the church feels this strain.
That is why the Center for Ministerial Health is passionate about investing in Texas Baptist ministers to encourage them towards excellence so they can be their best to serve the Lord and his people.
October is Pastor Appreciation Month — an emphasis on the work the Center for Ministerial Health is dedicated to doing year-round. Below are some thoughts from two ministry leaders, who are dedicated to serving ministers and pastors, on how you can empower your pastor to be his best this month and every month.
Provide financially — Ideas from Tammy Tervooren
Mission:Dignity is a ministry through Guidestone that provides financial assistance for retired Southern Baptist ministers and their widows. According to their website, more than 2,400 individuals receive assistance each year and approximately 60% of the recipients are widows.
It is my prayer for there to be less ministers and widows needing to utilize these funds because churches are able to adequately support their pastor financially.
My recommendations for churches wishing to bless their pastors during Pastor Appreciation Month are to, firstly, provide for them generously so that they can be well equipped to take care of themselves and their families needs.
Secondly, be knowledgeable in the best practices for compensation planning and in ministerial
taxes — abandon the idea of “we’ve always done it this way” and adopt an attitude of “what are
the best practices for compensating pastors today?” To help you with this, Guidestone offers this resource on how to put together a compensation package for pastors and ministers.
Go beyond one day — Ideas from Karl Fickling
Since 1992, this pastor appreciation emphasis has appeared on calendars for churches, and your pastor is likely to notice if there is no mention of it in your church. While Sunday, Oct. 10 is officially Pastor Appreciation Day, your church could choose any day during October in keeping with the spirit of blessing your pastor.
Lifeway has some superb ideas for gifts to bless your pastor — from prayers to personal notes to gifts cards and more. Or, you may want to go beyond the usual. COVID-19 has taken a toll on everyone, but pastors are reporting a special amount of fatigue from standing in between polarized church members and from the challenges of providing pastoral care during a pandemic.
So, do something for pastors. And whatever you do, let it be a reminder that caring for your pastor does not need to be restricted to a month or a single day.