Polls show that Americans overwhelmingly believe the country is headed in the wrong direction. Current events are placing added stress on pastors. Once again, the National Association of Evangelicals is sponsoring its Bless Your Pastor campaign leading up to Pastor Appreciation Month in October.
“Pastors and church staff are emotionally drained,” said Brian Kluth, national spokesman for the campaign. “They have tirelessly served their churches and communities through a very difficult season with little respite. Now is an important time to let them know how appreciated they are. Let’s bless pastors and church staff across America like never before.”
According to research by the Barna Group:
- Ninety percent of pastors are experiencing financial stress.
- Eighty-three percent are providing both in-person and online worship services to care for their flocks.
- Sixty percent receive no retirement, health care or employee benefits.
- Forty percent of pastor spouses serve the church 20 or more hours per week, usually without any pay.
- Thirty-four percent of churches have seen their giving decrease because of COVID-19.
“Even before this crisis, the majority of pastors and their families were walking a financial tightrope, teetering on the edge of serious debt and wondering how they could pay essential bills,” Kluth said.
One grateful pastor commented, “There is a special feeling when you are blindsided by love.”
The Bless Your Pastor campaign offers three steps for churches to help their pastors feel appreciated. The plan includes sharing a list of 50 Creative Ways to Bless Your Pastor and Staff with congregation members; taking up an appreciation offering or giving a year-end bonus for their pastor; and celebrating the pastor publicly. For every new church that participates and completes all three steps, the senior pastor will be sent a grant-funded $100 Amazon gift card from the association.
For more information, visit www.blessyourpastor.org.