October is National Clergy Appreciation Month, otherwise known as Pastor Appreciation Month for Christians. This is a time for members of a congregation to show their appreciation to their pastor for all of the services they provide throughout the year.
Whether it’s a gift that has been purchased through small contributions by each member of the congregation or individual tokens of affection, people and churches tend to have their own ways of showing their gratitude. Gifts don’t necessarily need to be hugely expensive and oftentimes, the best gifts for your pastor can be a handwritten note expressing your gratitude for his service.
Parents can also use Pastor Appreciation Month to show their children the importance of a pastor’s role in their own lives and the community as a whole. Small children can often idolize imaginary characters like Batman and Superman, and they my even think of these characters as their heroes. But while Superman and Batman may have their place, parents know that real role models and heroes possess super powers of their own.
Pastor Appreciation Month can be a good opportunity to show your younger children that their pastor can be someone they can look to as their hero, too. Highlight all the good and heroic works your pastor has done.
Parents of older kids likely realize that today’s society is fame-obsessed when it comes to young teens and growing adolescents. While teenagers seem to idolize their favorite musicians, athletes, reality TV stars and actors; celebrities aren’t necessarily the role models that most parents would like their children to look up to. Teaching your teenagers how a pastor can help others to understand that there is something bigger themselves can be a huge life lesson that can help them throughout their teenage years and into adulthood.
Getting your child involved in Pastor Appreciation Month can be as simple as having him write a personalized note to show his pastor gratitude for his services throughout the year. Before writing, it can be good to have a conversation with your child about what attributes he thinks defines a hero. Not only will this activity help to open your children’s minds about all the good works being done by their pastor, but it will also help them to better understand the appreciation they should show.
To really bring the point home to both older and younger kids, get them involved with work at the church so they can work side-by-side with your pastor and see his true heroic efforts up close and personal. Many pastors offer community service work through their church, whether it’s a fundraising event for a particular charity or life lesson learning courses held during the week.
Youth programs held at churches are often thought of as a safe haven environment, especially for those that are underprivileged or looking for a role model in their lives. Your child can be made to see that a pastor can help those who may be less fortunate than others, give to the needy and rally others in the community to lend themselves to a higher purpose. Many of these attributes can be found in a hero and yet, a pastor does much more than that in his role as a church and community leader.
If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit? —James 2:15-16
Instilling in your children the appreciation they should have in their pastor is more than something meant for a single month out of the year. Let your child’s hero be someone he or she can look up to for all of his or her life, rather than a fleeting fascination with superheroes or a pop icon from the adolescent years. Revealing to your children the true meaning behind being a hero can open their eyes to the role model they have within their very own church.
Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven. —Mathew 5:16