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To be grateful is to recognize the love of God in everything He has given us -- and He has given us everything. Every breath we draw is a gift of His love, every moment of existence is a grace, for it brings with it immense graces from Him.
- Thomas Merton

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 Pastor Appreciation Month

Jim Daly, Focus on the Family's president, recently called pastoring "one of the toughest jobs in America" Many pastors feel their job description looks like the following:

WANTED: Gregarious, dynamic and charismatic leader; excellent teaching and speaking skills required; must be empathetic and a good listener; proficient in conflict resolution, capable of juggling numerous priorities and managing unrealistic expectations. Must be available seven days per week, 24 hours per day. Compensation is not commensurate with experience.
A recent LifeWay Research survey of pastors suggests this description isn't too far off the mark:
  • 84 percent say they're on call 24 hours a day.
  • 80 percent expect conflict in their church.
  • 54 percent find the role of pastor frequently overwhelming.
  • 53 percent are often concerned about their family's financial security.
  • 48 percent often feel the demands of ministry are more than they can handle.
  • 21 percent say their church has unrealistic expectations of them.
As you can imagine, pastors and their families endure a lot of stress and pressure. That's why every year in October, we encourage churches to celebrate Pastor Appreciation Month.  It's a chance for congregations to honor their pastors and their families for their hard work, commitment and sacrificial dedication.
Following are some resources to get you started.
- 10 Simple Ideas for Pastor Appreciation Month 
- Planning Guide from Focus on the Family

- Pastor Appreciation Ideas

- Thriving Pastor website
- Pastor Appreciation Ideas on Pinterest

- 5 Ways To Say Thanks
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