While dialoguing with ministry leaders on my porch in the fall sun last week, one of the gals asked, “Is there a distinction between being shown value and appreciation?” We had been reflecting together on the concept of October being pastor appreciation month. Verbally processing and pondering this question, we discovered an insightful distinction. Showing value to pastors and ministry leaders is often more of a social interaction posture, while appreciation is taking action to show gratitude.
What is a posture of engagement that communicates value to our pastors and other ministry leaders? Throughout the month, I’ve had numerous conversations with shepherds of the flock, and here’s insight from some of their own words.
“I feel valued when I am trusted, and others are willing to follow me.”
“I long for others to know me and my family: to genuinely want to know us.”
“I desire opportunities to be heard and listened to.”
“I want my home life to be shown value. It’s important to have health in this area.”
“I feel valued when I’m given permission to struggle.”
“I would like to be shown respect.”
“A posture when communicating that shows honor and curiosity gives value.”
When asked about how pastors and ministry leaders feel most appreciated, the greatest response worded in various ways was to be shown value throughout the year. May we be willing to show our pastors and ministry leaders appreciation throughout the year by showing them value. May we be curious listeners who are willing to follow and trust. May we be encouragers who speak genuine words of affirmation. May we be people who honor our leaders and support their growth journeys toward health and wholeness in Christ. May we be people who hold regard for the value of those who shepherd the flock.
Jen Binford, Coach