This month is “Clergy Appreciation” month nationally. Victor Parachin wrote, “Sometimes pastors are the loneliest people in the church. Often their hours are long, the pay minimal, the criticism considerable and constant. Feelings of disappointment, discouragement and defeat may begin to plague the best of them. Here are some good things to make the pastors lives better.

Cut the criticism – Unlike most workers who are evaluated once or twice a year, clergy are often critiques weekly after each worship service. It’s not unusual to hear people say “the music was poor,” the hymn selection was awful,” or “the sermon was boring.” We would do well to remember that most spiritual leaders work hard to make worship a unique celebration each week.

Pray regularly – Ask God to shower your pastor with an abundance of love, hope, joy, faith, peace, power, wisdom and courage. Pray for your spiritual leader’s maturity and growth in the faith.

Express appreciation in writing – A spoken compliment is always welcome but a written one can be read over and over again for years. So, when you hear or see something you like from your minister, write an appreciative note.

Squelch the gossip – If you hear a negative comment, respond with a positive one. If misinformation is being spread, correct it with the accurate information. Or, if people are gossiping, just walk away. Proverbs 25:18 says, “Telling lies about others is as harmful as hitting them with an ax, wounding them with a sword, or shooting them with a sharp arrow.”

Galatians 6:6 says, “The one who is taught the word is to share all good things with the one who teaches him.” If you are being taught the Word, please consider sharing a gift to be given to your Pastor.