"Remember your leaders, tose who spoke to you the word of God" (Heb 13:7)
Every day, church members and officials have opportunities to express appreciation to their pastors. But in many parts of the world, the denominational calendar includes one day that is set apart especially for this purpose.
When the fourth Sabbath of October was first celebrated as "Pastor's Day," the idea was to show appreciation and gratitude to the pastoral family for the work they accomplish.
In some Divisions, the Ministerial Association provides posters, ideas, and information on how this day can be celebrated and remembered. We recognize that pastors have a great ministry in the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Many believers have been encouraged, supported, and assisted by their pastors. Through sermons, visitation, evangelism, special ceremonies, and fellowship, these pastors have been instruments of blessing in God's hands.
But the nature of the pastor's job means that sometimes he or she feels lonely, isolated, insecure, unappreciated, and unmotivated.
By how they serve the church, pastors confirm the call they received from God. Pastors do not do their jobs for money; although the church offers a sustenancesalary. In most cases the pastor's spouse works outside the home to help with the family budget. Remember, a spiritual leader is someone who has abandoned the love of power to embrace the power of love. Therefore, a special day of recognition, appreciation, and gratitude for pastors shows not only that their members care for them but also motivates Adventist ministers toward excellence.
On this special day, church members are encouraged to send cards or make phone calls to the pastoral family to show love and appreciation. Churches may also show their affection through a gift or some other kind of tribute. Some could invite the pastor's family for lunch or dinner. Creativity is what counts on these occasions.
However, let us remember that on this day, church members should not prepare a special sermon. The Sabbath message is designed to feed and nurture the congregation spiritually. It wouldn't be wise to use the entire worship service to pay tribute to any specific person; the time between Sabbath School and the worship service can be used for this purpose. Another appropriate time would be at the youth meeting, when an interview could be held with the pastor's family, or the participants could share a testimony about the blessings of ministry.
Who should conduct this tribute? The head elder would be the most appropriate person, and other people may indicate their desire to express some words of appreciation. But one person should be selected to lead out in the tribute.
Afterwards, the congregation should pray with and for the pastor in a special way. Pastors need prayer and seldom hear their own names lifted up before God's throne.
This year Pastor's Day is October 28. May this celebration be a great blessing to all.
General Conference Ministerial Association