Dear Brother and Sisters in Christ,
In Paul’s first letter to the Thessalonians, he writes to them,
“Therefore encourage one another with these words.” (4:18 ESV)
and a little later,
“Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.” (5:11)
October is Pastor Appreciation Month. It is a great time for you to reach out to and encourage your pastor(s) and other professional church workers at your congregation.
There are many ways of course you can reach out to encourage those through whom we are blessed to receive God’s Gospel gifts. We often think materially: money, gift cards, etc.
All fine and warmly received.
However, if we put Paul’s words ‘to encourage’ in context, the encouragement is always a word about Christ: Who is He and what has He done for us?
In the June Reporter, there was an insert titled “What We Heard: Church Workers Speak on Wellness.” This insert listed nine items professional church workers say they need in order to be well. I would like to mention two and then offer a way you can make that happen for your pastor(s) and other professional church workers at your congregation:
First, church workers say they would like care provided at the local level.
Second, church workers say they need to be reminded of their identity in Christ.
In bringing the Good News to others, sometimes we forget that church workers need to hear it, too.
As you have opportunity during this month and whenever, quite frankly, I would invite you to take the time to write your pastor(s) and professional church workers at your congregation a personal letter. And not just any letter, but a letter that preaches the love that Christ has for them, and backs it up with wonderful promises quoted from the Scriptures.
The Lord bless you as you write your Christ-centered, life-giving words of encouragement to those whom the Lord has called to serve you.
Rev. Stefan K. Wismar
Executive Assistant to the President
Minnesota South District, LCMS