Here in the United States, October is, among other things, Clergy Appreciation month. It was set aside as a month to recognize the contributions pastors make in the lives of their congregants. It’s also a chance to celebrate their families and the sacrifices that often come with experience in full-time ministry.
In thinking about appreciating our Clergy here in the States, we wanted to turn our eyes to Africa and Asia, where we are raising up men and women to preach the Gospel. While some may not bear the official title of “Pastor,” their contributions to their communities deserve to be recognized and highlighted. We wanted to highlight those efforts by giving you some ideas as to how you can appreciate your pastor this month, and ways that you can continue to pray for those With Open Eyes is raising up to proclaim the name of Jesus.
- Write a note of encouragement. Words of encouragement and hope are powerful tools in difficult times. While our Mobile Messengers often send us amazing stories of how God is working in their churches, we also hear the difficulties they face. Whether it’s famine, a refugee crisis, witchdoctors, or the discouragement that comes with ministry, these men and women face difficulty every day. Which is why we make sure to send them notes of encouragement. A simple email, reminding them that someone prays for them, and loves them can make a huge difference. It can also give someone the needed push to overcome in times of hardship.
Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing. 1 Thessalonians 5:11
2. Pray constantly. The names and faces of our friends in Africa and Asia are never far from our minds or our hearts. We are continually praying over them, seeking the Lord for aid and grace on their behalf. The beauty of our relationships with these churches, pastors and Messengers is that we know they are praying for us as well. Paul encourages us to intercede for one another and especially the leaders and that our intercession for them is pleading to the Lord. People called to preach and to lead often bear heavy burdens. It can be easy to forget that one of the most powerful weapons in our arsenal, prayer, can be used to stand in the gap for those who lead us.
First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, 2 for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. 1 Timothy 2:1-2
3. Get the congregation involved. It’s easy to look at what we can do as individuals but sometimes the biggest impact we can have is as a group. We know that our Mobile Messengers not only need our support and edification, but they need it from their own churches. That’s why we love hearing stories of baptisms, people coming to Jesus, and church buildings being built. Not only are they mile markers of ministry, but they can be personal reminders to each pastor that they are walking out the call of God on their lives.
Encourage those in your church to do something similar. Look at your church history. How have you grown? Who has come to Jesus in your church recently? What significant milestones have you hit? Now see how has your pastor played a part in all these things. Identify them and tell him. There are times when a reminder of fruit from those in the church is a game changer for a weary pastor.
The Lord God has given me the tongue of those who are taught, that I may know how to sustain with a word him who is weary. Isaiah 50:4
These are just three ways we try to encourage our Mobile Messengers on their journey. They serve as a daily inspiration to us as they persevere and endure in preaching and teaching the Gospel of Jesus to their world.
We hope these ideas will not only help you keep our Mobile Messengers in your prayers but that they would also inspire you to honor your own leaders and pastors in your lives. Also, we would love it if you would take the time to send a short note to our Mobile Messengers. Your encouragement and prayers mean more than you know! If you’d like to write to them, please send your note to MobileMessengers@withopeneyes.net and we’ll make sure we send them along.