In 1 Thessalonians 5:12-13, Paul tells us that we should respect those who are our leaders in the Lord's work, those who work hard among us and offer us spiritual guidance. We should give them love and respect for all that they do for us in the Lord's name. Our leaders, those who Jesus has appointed as shepherds of His flock, are our pastors. October is Pastor Appreciation Month. While any time of the year is a good time to appreciate and honor our pastors, this month is an especially good time for it.
The word pastor literally means shepherd. Shepherds in the Jewish economy held a position of responsibility. They were appointed to tend to great flocks of sheep or goats, moving them from place to place and guarding them against wild animals and thieves. In the Old Testament, especially in Psalm 23, God is pictured as the shepherd of His people. As such, He is concerned with every aspect of His people's welfare. He provides for us and protects us. He guides us, keeping us on the right path.
While the Lord is our shepherd, He has also given us shepherds among us, men and women after His own heart, who will feed us with knowledge and understanding (Jeremiah 3:15; Ephesians 4:11). These men and women, our pastors, have a great responsibility. They are responsible for taking care of their own spiritual lives but have also been charged with looking after the spiritual lives of the flock to whom the Lord has appointed them as overseers. They have the responsibility of caring for His church, the people that He has purchased through His own blood (Acts 20:28).
Our responsibility as the church is to obey our leaders, our pastors, and to submit to the authority that God has given them. They have been given watch over our souls and will one day be called to give an account for the flock that they led. When we submit to their God-given authority and show the love and respect for them that they deserve, we enable to carry out their responsibilities with joy and not with groaning (Hebrews 13:17). We are called to remember them and imitate the example of faith that they set for us (Hebrews 13:7).
During this month of October, Pastor Appreciation Month, take the time to let your pastors know how much you appreciate them, how much you love them, and how much you respect them.