Focus on the Family Canada's Kerith Retreats are blessed with some extraordinary staff and volunteers who love to serve ministry leaders. We asked them some questions about what motivates them to serve faithfully and selflessly. To summarize: they love pastors and Christian leaders!
For Clergy Appreciation Month this October, we thought you might be touched to hear why they dedicate themselves to this ministry that exists to bless pastors, missionaries, leaders and their spouses. What follows is a summary of their comments.
We hope that you can sense their deep appreciation of the work you do daily in your ministry settings and their commitment to serving you in return. We also hope you will consider planning a Kerith Retreat for yourself this year so these wonderful folks can love on you for a whole week! You will love every minute of it!
1. What would you say makes you willing to do what you do to serve leaders as you do at Kerith Retreats?
- Our pastors give to their congregations all the time and so selflessly.
- We have benefitted from our pastor's teaching and example. More than ever before, we are recognizing that our pastors give without receiving much emotional and spiritual encouragement for themselves.
- After being in pastoral ministry for 25 years, I understand the struggles that go on in silence.
- I want to be able to provide a safe space for leaders and their spouse to be heard and valued.
- Our leaders spend most of their time serving – this gives us an opportunity to serve them.
- We believe they need rest, encouragement and rejuvenation.
2. Do you think it makes a difference for people you serve and if so, why?
- They feel special and pampered which is something most ministry workers don't often get so, yes, we think it makes a difference.
- Pastors and their spouses are always seen as the “go-to” people yet they are seldom seen as the one needing the encouragement and validation in their role.
- We think when people come to stay in a place that is clean and well taken care of, it is easier for them to relax and enjoy their time.
- We often feel that no one else would ever struggle with the same issues. Having the chance to share their stories in a place that will not think less of them or be a threat to their role helps leaders to begin some deep, authentic processing.
- They are not looking for a pat on the back; they just want to be heard and encouraged to finish well.
- We think it makes a very big difference. Some come here tired and exhausted and leave here refreshed and ready to go home and serve.
3. What words of affirmation would you like to share with pastors?
- Thinking of the pastors who have impacted our lives, we would like to say keep digging deep in God's Word as you prepare sermons and studies, and don't be afraid to say the hard stuff. It is very much appreciated by us and your reward will be great in heaven.
- Don’t let any person, circumstance or voice rob you of who you are. You are the beloved child of the Most High God!!!
- God did not make a mistake in His design of you. He has empowered you with gifts and strengths that are of value.
- May you find joy in ministering out of the person God has created you to be.
- You are doing an important and needed work in ministry, often not thanked, or even criticized for it. We see that – and we care.
4. What is something you have personally appreciated about pastors who have served your family through the years?
- Their commitment to Biblical teaching and preaching.
- Their heart of compassion.
- Their being available.
- I have appreciated it when they have listen to my struggles that are not always very pretty, yet they still see my heart as wanting to be faithful. Their compassion speaks words of truth in love rather than condemnation.
- Our pastor knew each of our children and in-laws by name; and years after he left our church, was still praying for each one in our family.
- Our pastors have faithfully taught the Word.
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