Clergy Appreciation Month time to honor church staffs
By Allen Palmeri
September 28, 2004
JEFFERSON CITY – October is Clergy Appreciation Month, which means that Missouri Baptists have an opportunity to recognize those who serve in leadership positions within the local church.
“That means everybody in the church who’s on staff gets appreciated,” said David Tolliver, president of the Missouri Baptist Convention and pastor, Pisgah Baptist Church, Excelsior Springs. “I think it’s very important that they not just single out the pastor in multi-staff churches. They need to take care of everybody.”
Tolliver, who recently completed five years of service at his church, said his church members have consistently given him good gifts in October.
“It gets your motor going,” Tolliver said. “I think it gives an opportunity for the church to do what they’ve been wanting to do, but didn’t quite know how. I think it’s a great thing.”
Mike Green, pastor, Calvary Baptist Church, Republic, and president, Missouri Baptist Pastors’ Conference, said encouragement is the biggest need of pastors.
“Greene County pastors seem to stay a long time, so I’ve seen a lot of pastors retire down here,” said Green, who has been pastor of Calvary Baptist for 221/2 years. “I’ve seen so many of them kind of flame out and get discouraged. I had a couple of them tell me, who were really great pastors, ‘I can’t adapt to the new paradigm.’ I felt sorry for them, so a lot of them just kind of rode it out there at the end. I want to encourage pastors at every stage in their ministry.”
A special website for churches who wish to encourage their pastors in October has been developed. On www.clergyappreciation.org, several tools are available that can make celebrations wonderful and memorable. A planning guide is also there containing creative suggestions designed to aid a congregation in the affirmation of its pastoral staff and families.