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Getting to Know our Pastors…Pastor Appreciation Month
By Laura Filbert - October 11, 2005

And we urge you, brethren, to recognize those who labor among you, and are over you in the Lord and admonish you, and to esteem them very highly in love for their work's sake. 1 Thessalonians 5:12-13

Our pastors-we look to them for protection, inspiration and guidance. We come to church on Saturday or Sunday to listen as they speak the Word of God, but many of us don't really know what the pastors at the Rock Church actually do, outside of weekend services.

The Role of the Pastor…Defined

Pastor John praying with some folks after an Easter Sunday altar call
Pastor John praying with some folks after an Easter Sunday altar call

Pastors are often equated with being like shepherds-looking for and guiding sheep who are wandering. In fact, the word "pastor" in Latin means "shepherd".

The pastors at the Rock Church are here to lead you into a life-changing and productive relationship with Jesus Christ. Their mission is to equip, reach out, and minister to the lost and hurting people in San Diego and the rest of the world.

Here are some of their other roles and responsibilities:

  • Pastors lead the church or their ministry in worship-designing worship or messages that bring people closer to God.
  • Pastors counsel others on all sorts of matters. From marriage, to careers, to overall spiritual advice, they offer free counsel based on the direction from the Word of God.
  • Pastors are spiritual leaders. They help others develop a personal relationship with God. They are spiritual coverings for our church, and pray for the members of our church.
  • Pastors are servants of God. They faithfully go when called to minister to others. Whether it is comforting a person in a hospital bed, bringing love and encouragement to a homeless person, or preaching to a lost soul, they are always reaching out to others.
  • Pastors are community builders. They get out and make a difference in the community.
  • Pastors develop organizational management. Whether it's creating a vision for our new church building, creating the Junior High or College ministries, or overseeing the staff at the Rock offices, our pastors spend time planning and orchestrating these duties.
  • Pastors perform administrative duties. Oftentimes these tasks are invisible, but not indispensable.

Why Pastors Need Our Support

Our pastors and church leaders need our prayer, appreciation and encouragement because they, just like anyone else, need spiritual, physical and family support.

Many pastors (and their families) are on the frontlines of spiritual battle and live their lives under spotlights and magnifying glasses. They need our prayer to help continue living godly lives and to be strong, inspired leaders of our church.

Pastors aren't the only ones that need prayer and encouragement.

Jesus asked for the prayer and support of his disciples. In Luke 22, Jesus' burden was so heavy that sweat like drops of blood fell to the ground. He was praying in the garden on the eve of His crucifixion, and needing the spiritual support of his disciples, said to them, "Why are you sleeping?...Get up and pray so that you will not fall into temptation." He needed this spiritual support, so He exhorted them to watch and pray.

In Exodus 17:10-13, Moses stood atop a hill with the staff of God in his hands. Moses' hands grew tired and became so heavy that he couldn't hold them up without the help of two men named Aaron and Hur, who held his hands steady until sunset. He needed the physical support of others to win the battle.

Lastly, the families of our pastors need our prayer and support. Oftentimes, our pastors are very busy with their pastoral responsibilities that they might not get to spend as much time with their loved ones as they would like to, or have the financial resources their family needs.

While we may not all be called to be pastors, we are all called to support those who are. Hebrews 13:17 says, Obey those who rule over you, and be submissive, for they watch out for your souls, as those who must give account. Let them do so with joy and not with grief, for that would be unprofitable for you.

How We Can Support Our Pastors

Pastor Darren and Pastor John take a moment to bless a Rock photographer
Pastor Darren and Pastor John take a moment to bless a Rock photographer

October is Pastor Appreciation Month, so take this opportunity to let our pastors know that you're supporting them with prayer, that you appreciate them, and that you love them. You'd be surprised how much just a little note of encouragement or a simple act of kindness can do.

And, by the way, every single staff member of the Rock can use your prayer, support, and encouragement as well. They experience many of the same challenges our pastors do.

One way to support our pastors is through the Rock Church Adopt a Pastor program. By "adopting" a pastor, you commit to pray for him and encourage him as the Lord leads. Click here to sign up.

Besides adopting a pastor, here are some other fun ways you can show your support to our pastors:

  • Write your pastor an encouraging note the first day of every month this year.
  • If he's married, send his wife flowers and a thank you note-she plays an important support role.
  • If you live near him, offer to car pool his children to school, or baby sit them.
  • Actively listen during the sermon. Nod your head. Take notes. Say "amen".
  • Faithfully and joyfully use your spiritual gifts within the church body.
  • Write a note or email to tell your pastor how they have affected your life.
  • Volunteer to help our pastors out with administration duties at the Rock office.
  • Bake cookies or leave special treats in the Rock staff office.

Most importantly, honor our pastors during the other 11 months of the year. Let's not only support them in the month of October, but rather use this month as the beginning of a commitment to continually support our pastors.

If you'd want to learn more about our pastors at the Rock, check out the staff directory. Their contact information is listed along with their bios, and other fun bits of info.