Remember Your Pastor!

Jaden Morris, Staff Reporter

October is a very significant and important month for local pastors and churches. Officially, while October is known for its many different themes, such as Halloween and Breast Cancer Awareness, it is also recognized as being Pastor Appreciation Month! The second Sunday of the month is also designated as the day to recognize church leaders and members of clergy. Pastors maintain an important role in the lives of many people, both locally and nationally. Not only do they serve as spiritual leaders, providing religious and theological guidance, church leaders often serve as beacons of philanthropy, volunteering for and organizing numerous charitable causes and opportunities to help others within their local community.  

According to the Pew Research Center, there are more than one hundred and sixty-five million Christians in the United States today. The number is much higher when other religions are considered, as they should be. With that many people categorized as practicing a particular faith, there is an important need for someone to lead and help them. That is where we recognize the role of our pastors and religious leaders. From the pastor of a small, struggling church to the nationally renowned television evangelist, all are equally as important with one another and serve a tremendous role in helping to influence and provide for those around them.   

As a community, it is important to establish a sense of awareness for and to create time to recognize members of the local clergy. Pastors and local church leaders serve a tremendous role in our local communities. They are more than just church leaders or theological shepherds. Pastors are our friends, family members, neighbors, politicians, teachers, nurses, counselors, and more. They serve on local school boards, coordinate humanitarian efforts, and so much more – all while focusing on members of the congregation individually.  

The duties of a pastor are seemingly endless, and the discourse of 2020 has only evolved such claim. Pastors organize sermons week-after-week, only to have people unhappy or to have to immediately close the church and cancel services for two weeks. They endure numerous business meetings, only to continue to bear the many hardships of declining church/faith membership nationwide. They pray and worry about a church member that has been sick and hospitalized, only to find out that there are no visitors allowed. They attempt to have outreach and support events within the community to provide food and necessities, only to be bound by social distancing and safety barriers (which are justifiably necessary).  

Despite the many complications and hardships faced by members of church leadership nationwide, it is essential recognize the importance of the continued ministry. Without pastorsreligious leaders, and the churches, our local community would look much different. There would be significantly less food pantries available (here is a link to various food opportunities in Scioto County), fewer visits to hospital patients, less community events and support, and so much more. Pastors serve their communities, support the poor, the sick, the homeless, those bound by addiction, and those in recovery, all while putting themselves aside.  

With all the roles of a pastor and their many contributions in mind, it is important to remember that they too are human. They have their own worries, frustrations, and struggles, same as the people which they selflessly serve. The local church leaders are invaluable (whether individuals are religious or not) and are important to community development. Remember to appreciate and support your pastor