During the pandemic with many empty churches, a couple of pastors are sharing their advice on what blesses them most.
October is Pastor Appreciation Month. With many people in congregations staying home in Winnipeg and surrounding areas this month due to the level orange restrictions, it's been hard for many pastors.
Wilma Wiens is the Minister of Pastoral & Spiritual Care at Grace Bible Church in Winnipeg.
"I'd say one of the best ways for the body of Christ to support pastors during this time of pandemic, uncertainty, and isolation is to reach out and care well for each other," she says.
Being a pastor of a church can be a lonely road during a regular year, and with the online services and many people in their own homes streaming, it has added to that feeling.
Tony Froese is the Lead Pastor at New City Church of Manitoba with one pop-up location in Winnipeg and one in Winkler.
"Pastors are susceptible to feelings of loneliness at the best of times. Often feeling like they are fighting a good fight on their own. The opportunities and frequencies to that emotion and lie are heightened during this coronavirus season," says Pastor Froese.
He shares four different ways that the body of Christ can remind pastors that they stand with them.
- Keep giving to the local church, both serving in some way and being financially consistent.
Refuse to cause further division amongst the body of Christ. Keep unity and capitalize on what unites the Church rather than what divides.
Let your Pastor know that you are with them. Pray for Him or Her and let them know you are not going anywhere. A simple short text or DM works.
Do something kind for their family. Sometimes pastor's family members wear the weight alongside the pastor. A kind act or gift for the family lets them know they are not overlooked.
It's the small actions that encourages Pastor Wiens and lets her know what she is doing is making a difference.
"Check in on your neighbors, check in on people who have not shown up in Zoom church. I am always deeply encouraged in my work when I see the body of Christ caring for each other....when I see the church being the church," says Pastor Wiens.