of the General Presbyter of the Presbytery of Sheppards and Lapsley

Sue Westfall

October 3, 2022



The month of October has been designated as Pastor Appreciation month. The designation was made back in 1992 and had strong evangelical roots. Thirty years later it’s commonly recognized in all church circles.


Let me ask you, do you appreciate your pastor? Your pastor thoughtfully crafts a sermon to preach pretty much every Sunday as well as putting together the entire liturgy and working with the musicians to create a cohesive worship experience. Your pastor prays for you and is there for you in times of great joy as well as great sorrow. Your pastor leads Bible studies and other studies/fellowship time attending to your spiritual needs. Your pastor casts the vision for a vital congregation involved in God’s work in the world. Your pastor never gets a weekend and only rarely two days off in a row. Your pastor innovates, imagines, organizes, and tends to the health and well-being of the whole church and all its members. Your pastor pushes you beyond your comfort zone to introduce you to the deeper spiritual life of discipleship to which you are called.


A mid council colleague of mine, Jan Edmiston, is a regular blogger. She recently wrote a blog entitled, Six Things Every Pastor Needs. I think her experience with church folk is somewhat darker than my own but the six things she cites are:


  • Appreciation for the absurd (I can relate to this one as congregational pastors regularly encounter the absurd)
  • Fearlessness and a willingness to step into conflict (Again, I get this one. Pastors are regularly called upon to be bold and rush in where angels fear to tread)
  • A backbone (This one is obvious; a pastor has to be flexible and hold things lightly yet at the same time, they need to stand for something)
  • A Coach
  • A Spiritual Director
  • A Therapist


These last three are all indicative of a pastor’s need for extra resources for handling such a demanding job.


So let me ask again, do you appreciate your pastor? If so, and I imagine most of you do, why not use this month of October for intentionally demonstrating that? This could be something you do individually – a note, a gift card, a phone call to tell them thank you. Or it could be something done congregationally – honoring them in a worship service, “roasting” them at a social event in their honor, a congregational gift of some kind.


Just let them know you see them and appreciate them. They are a blessing to us all!




As ever in prayer,



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