"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life."

St. Matthew Ev. Lutheran ChurchSaint Matthew Lutheran Church     Warrens, Wisconsin

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Our pastor - Phillip Enderle


What is Clergy Appreciation Month?

Clergy Appreciation Month is a special time that congregations set aside each year to honor their pastors and pastoral families for the hard work, sacrificial dedication and multiple blessings provided by these special people. It is typically scheduled in October, but can be held at any time that is convenient for the church and the community. It is also important to remember that appreciation, affirmation and prayer support of our spiritual leaders is appropriate throughout the entire year.

Why is Clergy Appreciation Month necessary?

The nature of the service provided by pastors and their families is unique. God has entrusted to them one of the most precious of assignments — the spiritual well-being of His flock. When a pastor becomes ineffective, the very souls of his or her parishioners are endangered. When eternity is in the balance, we should all be concerned.

Pastors and their families live under incredible pressures. Their lives are played out in a fishbowl, with the entire congregation and community watching their every move. They are expected to have ideal families, to be perfect people, to always be available, to never be down and to have all the answers we need to keep our own lives stable and moving forward. Those are unrealistic expectations to place on anyone, yet most of us are disappointed when a pastor becomes overwhelmed, seems depressed, lets us down or completely burns out.

That's why God has instructed us to recognize His servants.

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

The good news is that we can make a difference! Clergy Appreciation Month is one way we can counter the negative erosion in the lives of our spiritual leaders with the positive affirmation they need.


What can we do?

Many ways to help are listed below. Some may be repeated, but all are worth reading AND putting into action!

Ten Ways To Help Your Pastor,
Your Church, and Yourself

~ By Ron Hood

1) Treat him with the proper respect. Treat him the same way you would a doctor, a lawyer, or a politician. A pastor's role is more important than all of these professional roles because he is God's appointed leader for you and your family. Therefore esteem him very highly in love for his work's sake. (1 Thess. 5:12-13)

2) Follow your pastor as he follows Christ. (1 Cor. 11:1, Heb. 13:7)  Never blindly follow anyone, but always follow the man of God who is following Jesus Christ as set forth in the Word of God.  (Phil. 3:17-21)

3) Pray for him often. (Eph. 6:18-20; 2 Thess. 3:1-2)  You know how much opposition you receive from the world, the flesh, and the devil; your pastor receives even more, therefore, pray for him! (Scroll down to the next section called "Prayer" for a guide to praying for your pastor.)

4) Obey him as he admonishes you and teaches you the Word of God. (1 Thess. 5:12 and Heb. 13:17)  These verses teach that you should submit, obey, and follow.

5) Do not speak against or listen to any gossip or slander about your pastor. First Timothy 5:19 reads, "Don’t listen to a complaint against a leader..." and Eph. 4:29 reads, "Don’t let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouth...." Proverbs 6:16-19 teaches that God hates for us to hurt people with words. Listening to gossip and slander is just as much a sin as speaking it.

6) Support him financially so he can keep his mind on the work of the ministry. (1 Tim. 5:17, 18 and Phil. 4:10-19)  The ministry of the Word of God is twice as important as just making a living. If a man cannot properly care for his family, he will be distracted from the ministry. It costs your pastor just as much to live as it does you, and in some cases more because of the additional transportation and the way he is expected to dress.

7) Encourage your pastor. Tell him when he has helped you. Ephesians 4:29 teaches that we should speak that which edifies, or builds up.  You minister grace to your pastor when you tell him how he has helped you. He will be a more effective, dedicated servant of God if you give him some feedback on his ministry to you. (Prov. 3:27)   It will also be very encouraging if you tell your Sunday School teacher, husband or wife, and children how they have helped or been a blessing to you. Praise doesn't cost - it pays great dividends - in the home, in the church, in the school, and on the job.

8) Be patient and understanding with your pastor, his wife, and his children. Don’t expect your pastor or his family to be perfect; they are human. John 1:5 and James 5:17 teach that a man of God has the same human weaknesses and temptations that we all face.

9) Stay busy serving the Lord. This will bless your life and be a tremendous encouragement to your pastor. You have a spiritual gift, so use it.  John 13:17 teaches, "Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them." Happiness doesn't come from knowing what is right; happiness comes from doing what is right. Therefore, serve the Lord.

10) Be a blessing to your pastor, your family, and all who know you by being a soul winner. People all around us are lost in sin, dying and going to hell. Do all in your power to win them to Jesus Christ. Tell them what Christ has done for you and what He can do for them. Reflect on what your salvation means to you and then realize that those who are lost in sin need the same joy, peace, assurance, and hope that you have.


For a guide to praying for your pastor, download the

following file titled "40 Ways Over 40 Days".


Click HERE to download.


More Ideas

Everyone has a favorite homemade dessert. Do you know your Pastor's favorite?

If your Pastor has children offer to baby-sit. You can give them a FREE voucher to redeem within 24 hours notice.

Wash the Pastor's car. And if he has a wife then wash her car too. Don't forget to fill the car with gas while you have it.

Purchase a Gift Certificate for you favorite five star restaurant and leave it in the Pastor's Church Mailbox. It is nice to "take" the Pastor and his wife with you for dinner too but sometimes I think they might like a private romantic dinner. They may not otherwise be able to afford such an extravagant evening. Of course they would appreciate even a McDonald's gift certificate.

How about taking the Pastor to the clothing store where you get your suits and have him fitted for a brand new suit. Don't forget the shirt, tie, shoes and socks. If you can't afford that then maybe just a new tie might be nice. You might consider giving it as a gift from your Sunday School or Bible Study group.

You can make a gift basket with a "theme". Maybe Gardening or Bookworm themes. Just put all different and yet related items to the theme in a nice basket.

Symphony, Theater or Movie tickets would be a nice treat too. Don't forget Sports tickets.

A home cooked dinner delivered with candles and a nice CD for background music.

A gift certificate for a professional massage or even a manicure would be nice.

Gifts don't have to be extravagant or expensive to be special. Handmade items have their own special charm. Just make sure that your gift is from the heart and they will love it no matter what it is.



Simple Acts That Feed A Shepherd


Sometimes pastors are the loneliest people in the church. Often their hours are long, the pay minimal, the criticism considerable and constant. Paul's warning to "serve one another in love" (Gal. 5:13 ) should encourage us to remember our shepherds. Here are eight ways to make their lives a little brighter.

Presbyterian minister Fred Rogers, creator and host of television's "Mr. Roger's Neighborhood," recently gave an address describing the time he was a student at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary and attended a different church each Sunday in order to hear a variety of preachers. One Sunday he was treated to "the most poorly crafted sermon (he) had ever heard." But when he turned to the friend who had accompanied him, he found her in tears. "It was exactly what I needed to hear," she told Rogers. "That's when I realized," he told his audience, "that the space between someone doing the best he or she can and someone in need is holy ground. The Holy Spirit had transformed that feeble sermon for her—and as it turned out, for me too."

Unlike most workers who are evaluated once or twice a year, clergy are often critiqued weekly after each worship service. It's not unusual to hear people say "the music was poor," "the hymn selection was awful," or "the sermon was boring." We would do well to remember that most spiritual leaders work hard to make worship a unique celebration each week.

Ask God to shower your pastor with an abundance of love, hope, joy, faith, peace, power, wisdom, and courage.

Pray for your spiritual leader's maturity and growth in the faith.

As you pray keep in mind this wisdom from German writer Johann Wolfgang von Goethe: "If you treat a person as he is, he will stay as he is; but if you treat him as if he were what he ought to be, he will become what he ought to be and could be."

A spoken compliment is always welcome, but I forget spoken works too easily, and so I have appreciated those who have served me by sending notes of encouragement at just the right moment. Like times I've battled to maintain my faith, and friends write to tell of their own struggles and God's faithfulness.

There was the time I started to regret not getting a teaching degree. A friend wrote a note to say, "Thank you for teaching me so much," reminding me a degree wasn't necessary to teach others. I remember the times I've felt wounded by grief and notes that said, "I care or I'm praying for you" lifted my spirits. I reread the notes that say, "You are a wonderful friend" when I'm feeling like a horrible person. It's amazing that a few words arranged in the proper order can bring such relief to an aching heart. I will always cherish those who serve me with their words.

Are you proficient with computers? Help your pastor master the church's new computer. Are you a mechanic? Offer to service the car free of charge or at a reduced fee.

One pastor I know recalls:
"I was ministering to my first church—a small congregation with limited resources. While there, I developed a series of dental problems and could not afford treatment. What a joy it was when a dentist in the church offered to treat me for free. Correcting my dental problem involved nearly a dozen visits. He treated me carefully and cheerfully each time. I have thought of that dentist many times since then and the memories of his kindness continue to bless my life."

If you hear a negative comment, respond with a positive one. If misinformation is being spread, correct it with the accurate information. Or, if people are gossiping, just walk away.

Remember the Bible soundly condemns gossip and careless speech. James 1:26 says, "If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless." And Psalm 34:13 reads, "Keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking lies."

Some people make their spiritual leaders defensive and angry by saying, "You need to …" That approach is seldom welcome and almost always counterproductive. If you see a need, approach your spiritual leader by saying, "I'd like to help by …" If you see an area that can be improved, take responsibility for working on it.

Be an active participant in your church. Get involved by teaching a class, leading a workshop, singing in the choir, feeding the hungry. Ask your spiritual leader where and how you can employ your gifts.


Nothing excites a spiritual leader so much as seeing people respond to the preaching and teaching. Imagine the surprise and delight of a pastor in Virginia Beach, Virginia, who, when greeting a visitor to his church, found she came because of the kindness of a church member who was her neighbor.

"I'm recently divorced, a single parent and new to this community," she told the pastor. "To keep up with rent and provide for my three children, I must work two jobs. That leaves me very little time for yard work. I was relieved when the weeds didn't overrun my yard as I had feared they might. However, when I made an unscheduled trip home in the middle of my workday, I discovered the reason why the weeds had not taken over my yard.

"My 86-year-old neighbor—a member of your church—was on his hands and knees pulling my weeds. I barely knew this man and he was embarrassed to be caught in this anonymous act of kindness. He explained that he heard you preach a sermon on the importance of living a life of compassion and kindness and decided to put that sermon into practice by weeding my lawn."

One pastor's heart filled with joy when a group of women in Washington, D.C., resp
onded to a sermon preached from the words of Jesus—"Do not judge, or you too will be judged" (Matt. 7:1). After hearing the sermon, the women decided to give a baby shower for the young woman who provided childcare while they met for Bible study. She was unmarried, close to going on welfare, and without support from her family or the father-to-be. The young woman was moved to tears by the surprise baby shower.

Later, the women explained to the pastor, "Your sermon taught us that it's possible to reach out to someone in need—in this case, an unwed mother—without judging or condoning the situation."


Don't expect that your present spiritual leaders will do things the same way their predecessors did. Lay aside personal agendas and preferences. Instead, focus on how your leader is being used by God to do effective ministry now.

By serving your shepherds, you will ensure that they will not only be encouraged but will feel appreciated and continue to minister with enthusiasm and energy.






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This website was last updated on May 07, 2018.