By Joan Clayton: Religion Columnist
October has been designated to honor our ministers. Of course, we honor our preachers every day, but we are asked to specifically honor them during the month of October.
Have you ever thought how sad it would be without these wonderful people who help us through trials and problems? Ministers perform a very special service to the public. They work long and hard hours ministering to hurting people. In addition to conducting funerals, they perform marriages, visit the sick and shut-ins, prepare sermons, conduct seminars, teach Bible classes, counsel, comfort and encourage. In emergencies, ministers are called around the clock.
Just the presence of a minister in times of a crisis brings comfort. In the midst of sorrow, a minister is a welcome sight. They are in the people business, and that makes them special gifts from God. They are our nation’s prized possessions, and we need them desperately.
With their many duties and demands, I’m sure they grow weary and discouraged at times. This is all the more reason we need to encourage them by giving our love and support. Please pray for your minister. Pastors’ Sundays can be very hard and long. Above all, show that you care.
While appreciating your preacher, don’t forget his wife. She labors by her husband’s side, sacrificing her own time and interests for others, too.
There are many things you can do to honor and appreciate your preacher. You in turn will be blessed by the joy of helping others. “… He who refreshes others will himself be refreshed” (Proverbs 11:25 NIV).
Ministers are human beings with hurts and needs. Treat them generously in every way. Stand by them. Value them because they are God’s anointed. (Psalm 105:15)
Ministers who respond to God’s call to ministry are special people indeed. We need to stop and recognize the gifts God has given to us through our spiritual leaders.
Ministers and their families are at risk. They live in a world that never stops. Their average workload is 50-75 hours a week. Many have other jobs or their wives have other jobs to supplement income.
Here are some suggestions to honor those servants of the Lord who minister to you.
1. Write a special letter of appreciation.
2. Have a “card shower.”
3. Consider simple gifts like a gift certificate to a local bookstore.
4. Make banners of appreciation such as, “We love you.”
5. Present a skit from the little ones/Sunday School especially for the minister.
6. Take the minister and family out to eat.
7. Pay for a tank of gasoline for your minister.
8. Purchase a plaque of appreciation with the minister’s name on it.
9. Schedule special prayer sessions to pray specifically for the minister and his family.
10. Encourage your minister by your presence.
We have a responsibility before God to lift up our ministers as Aaron did to Moses: “ When Moses’ hands grew tired, they took a stone and put it under him and he sat on it. Aaron and Hur held his hands … one on one side, one on the other … so than his hands remained steady till sunset” (Exodus 17:12 NIV).
Let us honor those whom God has called out to lead.
Our ministers are our national treasures!
Portales resident Joan Clayton is a retired teacher and published author. Her e-mail address is: