By Gerry Taillon
October is pastor appreciation month so I want to take this opportunity to express my appreciation for pastors of CNBC churches across Canada.
About a year ago the CNBC team leaders got together for a planning and strategy retreat. Our objective was to plan and determine our goals and priorities as we seek to serve CNBC churches. There was a lot of discussion and back and forth dialogue, trying to boil down all we do, to the highest priorities and the most important objectives.
After many hours of productive exchange of ideas, we came to a simple but crucial realization. The most effective way to help churches is to minister to the most influential person or persons in each church—the pastor or pastors of the church. There are many critical factors that affect the health and welfare of a CNBC church but none more critical than the health and welfare of the pastors. Whether churches are big or small, rural or urban, English-speaking or other language-speaking, multi staff or single staff, the most important influencers of the church are pastors and their families.
This realization led us to prioritize four areas that we believe could make a difference in pastors’ lives and consequently also in their churches.
Firstly, it is absolutely critical that pastors and their families have the opportunity to be refreshed spiritually, emotionally and even physically. The job of a pastor can be very difficult at times and I have met many pastors who, as a result of their dedication and work ethic, are operating on empty much of the time. It is our hope that we can provide a time for every CNBC pastor to rest and be refreshed. Our Oasis weekends are such an opportunity and we hope each CNBC pastor can participate every year.
The second priority is to provide equipping for pastors to help them minister and serve in their churches. In this ever-changing world, where many expectations and demands are placed on pastors and their families, we hope to integrate this equipping at every one of our CNBC meetings. We have added a day to our annual convention to provide training in many different domains for pastors and their leaders.
The third priority is to help and encourage pastors to develop closer ties to other pastors by being involved in mission opportunities. The CNBC is encouraging all of our pastors to go on mission trips in Canada or outside of Canada. We provide grants to help pastors go on mission and we encourage our churches to enable pastors to take part in this vital opportunity. Pastors returning from mission trips inevitably report increased positive attitudes and motivation for ministry and mission in their local church.
The final priority is to encourage pastors to participate in peer-to-peer networks with other pastors. This area has proven to be the most effective way of providing ongoing support and equipping for pastors in their everyday ministries. The peer expertise and support relationships that other pastors provide to each other is absolutely essential to effective ministry.
The job of pastor is often difficult and very demanding. Our hope is to be a help and encouragement to pastors as they give themselves away for the church and the Kingdom of God.
Be an encourager to your pastor this month. Pray for him regularly. Do something for his family. Tell your pastor how much you appreciate him.
Reprinted from the CNBC Horizon - October 2018