Each year and especially the second Sunday of October, a time is set aside to acknowledge the important and valuable work of ministers of the gospel who serve as leaders of local churches. It is a time to simply express gratitude for the people God has called to our churches to help us grow in faith, help us fulfill our purpose in life and help us through the struggles of life.
Of all the things a church can do to express gratitude, one thing that is on top of the list is RESPECT. Granted, respect must be earned and not assumed. And once earned, respect can easily be lost. However, respect for who the minister is and the model he exhibits in the community is powerful.
How can you demonstrate respect for the minister the Lord has placed in your life? Seven suggestions:
Renew your walk with God. Every minister I know desires to see the people around him grow spiritually in the Lord. While hard to measure, most pastors measure their success by watching people going deeper in their walk with God through life situations. Ministers of the Word love to see and hear the testimony of a person’s life that says, “When I was a sinner, God did a work in and through my life.” Recently, I had the joy of being with some people I was called to lead at a local church. A fellow stepped up and shared how the Lord used my life and teaching of the Word of God to lead him to surrender his life to the ways of the Lord. His gratuitous testimony of life-change was incredibly affirming of God’s call in my own life.
Engage. The spirit of a minister is crushed by people sitting on their “blessed assurance.” It is your engagement in the work of God that blesses the minister of God. It is the demonstration of what you have learned from your minister in every sphere of life that says you respect the minister and are willing to follow the promptings of the Holy Spirit.
Share your life testimony. When the minister of God hears you talking and testifying, outside the church walls, like at a ball game, at a family gathering or at a community event about the work of God in your life, that means the world to the minister. Your sharing requires your testimony is authentic. If we have something in our lives that discredits our testimony, our witness is stained by whatever “that” is. Bless your minister with a quest for purity of life.
PRAY, call upon the Lord. While we need to pray for all fellow believers, the need for intercession for your pastor is vitally important. The enemy wants to destroy the testimony and integrity of those who minister in the Word. Why? Because it discredits the work of the gospel that has the power to change the lives of people from the inside out. Pray for your minister and his family’s protection. Pray the Lord will raise up disciples around him who are fellow laborers to work the field of lostness that abounds in every community.
Encourage. There is a myriad of practical ways to encourage the minister the Lord has placed in your life. Simple things like: babysitting their children while the minister takes his spouse on a date; an encouragement card or gift; a money tree to bless his family; or some other creative way to say, “Thank you. We appreciate you.”
Cooperate. Let’s work together for the core mission of the church. Our mission is not to just keep the doors open at a church house. It is to reach the world with the gospel by making disciples. Even when people disagree with one another about a non-biblical issue, they can still choose to cooperate. Cooperation of God’s people is always a good thing. It blesses the Lord and it blesses the minister who loves the Lord.
Thanks. There are those moments when a good handshake, a square look in the eyes and a “Pastor, thank you for being who you are in my life and in my family,” is one of the best ways to express respect and appreciation.
Who is the minister God has placed in your life? Somehow bless them, demonstrate RESPECT for him, this October.