God knew Israel would need a code, so Moses was given a love for the law.

God knew the doctrine of grace would need a fiery advocate, so Paul was set ablaze.

God knew what your generation would need and gave it. God designed you. — Max Lucado

We are designed by God specifically for this generation of people with our unique problems and circumstances. This is certainly true of our clergy. During the month of October, we honor our pastors, their families and all those who serve churches around the world. October is clergy appreciation month.

“The nature of the service provided by pastors and their families is unique. They live under incredible pressures, played out in a fishbowl. They are expected to have ideal families, to be perfect people, to always be available, to never be down and to have all the answers we need. Clergy Appreciation Month is one way we can counter the negative erosion in the lives of our spiritual leaders with the positive affirmation they need.” – From Thriving Pastor

“Dear brothers and sisters, honor those who are your leaders in the Lord’s work. They work hard among you and give you spiritual guidance. Show them great respect and wholehearted love because of their work.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:12-13

So, to all of our pastors and those who serve on church staffs:

Thank you for your leadership and witness. Thank you for being on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Thank you for the example you set as a person of spiritual discipline and faith. Thank you not only for the prayers you lead in public worship but for the fervent prayers in private no one sees but God.

Thank you for the late night hospital visits, weekly Bible studies, committee meetings and long hours of sermon preparation. Thank you for being our pastor when we need you most, when we appreciate you least. Through good times and bad you stand with us and help us strengthen our connection with God.

We know you are not perfect. We shouldn’t expect you to be. But you do attempt to serve God in everything you do. You make mistakes and learn from them. You may fail but you don’t give up. You choose to be a pastor in the midst of church disputes, unfair accusations and financial difficulties yet you continue to offer a message of hope and faith every Sunday.

Thank you.

Peter wrote: “Any who serves should serve with the strength God gives.” This is the strength and hope offered by God to our clergy and to all. Attempting to serve God any other way is a sure path to burnout and disappointment.

Thank you for serving and living God’s strength. Our generation still needs you, now more than ever. You were especially designed by God. Thank you for stepping up and fulfilling your destiny.

I pray that you will be surprised by a voice of encouragement that provides confirmation of how much God loves you and continues to have your back in the midst of often difficult and thankless circumstances.

Jeremiah wrote: “Blessed are those who trust in the Lord and have made the Lord their hope and confidence. They are like trees planted along a riverbank, with roots that reach deep into the water. Such trees are not bothered by the heat or worried by long months of drought. Their leaves stay green and they go right on producing delicious fruit.” (Jeremiah 17:5-8)

God knew what our generation needs and gave it. God designed you. Thank you.