For the past thirty years or so many Christians have identified October as “Pastor Appreciation Month,” and it is certainly appropriate that we should honor our pastors and other church workers and express our appreciation for their labors in the Lord. The Holy Scriptures clearly teach, “Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account” (Heb. 13:17). And St. Paul urges: “Respect those who labor among you and are over you in the Lord and admonish you, and . . . esteem them very highly in love because of their work” (1 Thess. 5:12-13).
Pastors are among the Lord’s good gifts to His Church on earth (Ephesians 4:11), for whom we give to Him our heartfelt thanks and praise. They are themselves the “earthen vessels” through whom our Savior, Christ Jesus, freely bestows His grace and mercy upon us in love (2 Cor. 4:5-7). And as they are thus given to be “servants of Christ and stewards of the Mysteries of God” (1 Cor. 4:1), so are we given to receive divine Life and eternal Salvation through their preaching and administration of His Gospel. It is truly meet, right, and salutary, therefore, that we should give thanks to God for our pastors, and that we should likewise show them our sincere appreciation with words of encouragement and gifts of love.
For all that, what every pastor most desires and appreciates – not only in October but throughout the year – is that Christians avail themselves of Christ Jesus in His Liturgy of the Gospel. As men who have given themselves and dedicated their lives to the care of the Lord’s Church, they are chiefly concerned that His people should hear His gracious Word of forgiveness and receive the Gifts He freely gives, unto the Resurrection of the body and the Life everlasting, to the praise and glory of His Holy Name.