…work more hours than most of their care recipients realize.
…put their hearts and souls into creating worship services, learning experiences, and mission opportunities that help their people grow as disciples of Christ.
…don’t get real weekends.
…have trouble making friends or finding partners because others are leery of letting down their hair around a member of the cloth.
…are often the anxiety sponges for those who are mad at God, mad at the church, or mad at the world.
…lay down whatever they’re doing to be with a parishioner in crisis.
…stress about money because of seminary debt or shrinking church budgets, yet continue to serve faithfully.
…feel burdened by the ways humans do harm to one another and to the world, yet persist in hope that God is at work.
…risk their livelihoods by faithfully challenging their congregations to live toward God’s vision.
…live, along with their families – who deserve their own appreciation month – in the fishbowl.
…do so many tasks that weren’t taught in seminary and fall under “other duties as assigned.” (Emergency toilet repair, anyone?)
This is not an exhaustive list of reasons to appreciate a minister. I hope the people in your care tell you how much your leadership means to them, not just this month, but year-round.