October is Clergy Appreciation Month and every congregation is encouraged to lift up the women and men who have been entrusted with a precious assignment: the spiritual well-being of the congregation. It is a great opportunity to say 'thank you' to those faithfully serving the Kingdom because of God's call on their lives.
The clergy you want to honor will certainly include your senior pastor as well as members of the pastoral staff. Over 13,000 clergy in the Church of the Nazarene (USA and Canada) serve as pastors, associates, compassionate ministry directors, district and general church leaders, teachers on college and university campuses, evangelists, chaplains, missionaries, and those active in retirement.
Clergy members have invested countless hours in prayer and study in order to be prepared to meet the challenges of our culture. As you develop a plan to honor them, take time to reflect upon the way God has used godly men and women to nurture your congregation in a variety of ways over the years.
Clergy are present at major moments of spiritual development within the fabric of the Christian life. At every important moment of life - they have been there! They perform marriages, baby dedications, and baptisms. Clergy pray for the sick, celebrate new births, comfort those in crisis, and bring messages of hope in times of death.
Our clergy call us to be God's kingdom and transforming agents as we celebrate the presence of Christ in creed and communion.
- They lead us to faith in Christ and nurture us in discipleship.
- They exemplify for us the love of Christ through holy living.
- They serve as priests, prophets, church board leaders, vision casters, and counselors.
Honor the clergy: take time to say, 'thank you.'
To assist congregations in planning, the Clergy Development office has provided several free resources on its web site, www.NazarenePastor.org.
Michael Stipp is the Church of the Nazarene's project manager for Global Clergy Development.