Celebrate Anniversaries~ Way 21
Now we urge you, brothers and sisters, to acknowledge those who work hard among you, who care for you in the Lord and who admonish you. Hold them in the highest regard in love because of their work.
1 Thessalonians 5:12,13
We have been in our church now for 13 years — when we were here for 10 years (and even in the years since then), no one said anything. I know it is not about the praise, but in a little way it hurt not to even have that milestone acknowledged. So maybe just encourage church members to at least thank their pastor once in awhile for what he does! ~ A Pastor’s Wife
Every year, I plan an elaborate birthday party for each one of my kids. And every year, I tell my husband that it is the last time I will do it, but then February rolls around and I just can’t help myself. I love planning parties that I know my kids will love. It is the best thing for my mama heart to see their joy, knowing they have no doubt that I think they are pretty special.
We understand the importance of celebrating our kids. They don’t even have to do anything other than to have made it to another birthday. We celebrate, because we love them.
In the same way, when an important anniversary rolls around, it means a lot to a pastor to know that his congregation considers it to be important.
In an article- How Long Should You Stay? The Magic Year for Ministry Success- on a Church Leader Website, the author shared the following statistics:
1. A pastor’s most productive time usually begins in years five, six and seven;
2. The average pastoral tenure in Protestant churches is less than four years;
3. Nearly 85 percent of today’s churches are not growing.
If the average length of a pastor’s stay is less than four years, then pastors who reach the 10 and 20 year marks should be celebrated. Research has shown that longevity for pastors is more likely to produce effective ministry. This might be a little too simplistic, BUT if a pastor has been faithful to shepherding his flock, celebrating anniversaries is a wonderful way to appreciate him.
There has only been one place where a 10 year anniversary could have been celebrated so far in my life. It is the place I still call home (pictured above!). If I am counting right, it was the 7th place where my Daddy ministered. In my husband’s ministry, we have not been in any church longer than 7 years. I hope we break that record here in Rochester! We pray for productive ministry and we are in it for the long haul.
Way 21: Appreciate your pastor by celebrating anniversaries.