Show appreciation to ministers, Sunday school teachers

Published 7:30 am Sunday, October 15, 2023

I can’t imagine not knowing anything about David and Goliath, Samson, or Moses, as well as Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Parables and proverbs have taught me a lot about how to live my life.

Someone once said, “If you can find your way around in your Bible, thank a Sunday School teacher!” I would include ministers too. Sunday School lessons and sermons I’ve heard during my lifetime have taught me much of what I know about the Bible and the Christian life.

Every October, a special time is set aside to show appreciation to ministers. Clergy Appreciation Month honors ministers and their families for their hard work and sacrificial dedication to their congregations. Some churches also choose to show their appreciation to Sunday School teachers during October.

Ministers and their families live under incredible pressures. They live in a fishbowl with the congregation and community watching their every move. Often, they are expected to be perfect people, always available, and never down, not to mention having all the answers. No one can meet those unrealistic expectations.

Sunday School teachers prepare lessons faithfully each week, so we can learn how to apply scripture to our daily lives. Whether children, teens, adults, singles, couples, senior adults, most churches usually offer classes for all ages.

Teachers make a difference in a child’s life, for God’s Word promises that if we teach a child in the way he should go, and when he is old “he will not depart from it” (Proverbs 22:6). The Apostle Paul writes that spiritual leaders who perform their duties well are worthy of double honor, especially those who work hard preaching and teaching (1 Timothy 5:17).

1 Thessalonians 5:12- 13 says, “And now, friends, we ask you to honor those leaders who work so hard for you, who have been given the responsibility of urging and guiding you along in your obedience. Overwhelm them with appreciation and love” (MSG).

So, what can you and I do to show appreciation to our minister and Sunday School teacher? First of all, pray for them.

“A delegation of American pastors asked Charles Spurgeon the secret for his success. In response, Spurgeon led them to the lower level of his meeting house and quietly opened the door. The visitors saw over 400 people praying for God’s blessing and power to rest upon their pastor who would stand in the pulpit to preach the Word of God that night. ‘There, Gentlemen,’ said Spurgeon, ‘is the secret for my success.’’’

Attend Sunday School and church. An empty pew or chair can convey a discouraging message. Invite a friend to come too. Remember your minister and your Sunday School teacher on special occasions like their birthdays and Christmas. Take them to lunch sometime.

A word of encouragement would make their day. You could just send a note to say, “Thank you for everything you do for our church. The Lord has blessed my life through you.”

— Jan White has compiled a collection of her columns in her book, “Everyday Faith for Daily Life.”