An American evangelical group has launched a movement that aims to bless pastors and church workers in the country.
The National Association of Evangelicals (NAE) introduced the Bless Your Pastor, an initiative that aims to "empower congregations to think creatively about how to care for their pastors," CBN News reported.
Speaking to Efrem Graham of CBN's Newswatch, NAE spokesperson Brian Kluth explained about the relevance of supporting pastors during this crisis.
"COVID has really affected pastors. It's been a difficult 15 months and they need all the love and support they get and we have free material to help every Christian and every church in America bless their pastor and church staff," he said.
He added that pastors have been undergoing challenges for the past 15 months. Usually working between 50 to 70 hours weekly, they may be working longer last year because of the pandemic.
"In every decision a pastor made this year, somebody wasn't happy so it's been a very, very challenging time," he pointed out.
Kluth said that with the movement, NEA wanted to fulfill the biblical instruction stated in 1 Thessalonians 5:12 which asks the believers to show "deep appreciation" for their ministers, as well as in Galatians 6:6 which states that they should "share all good things" with their church leaders.
"...So it's really about showing and sharing the love and care that any Christian can give them with their abilities, skills, resources - whatever God has given them to bless their pastor and staff," he continued.
The NAE spokesperson also encouraged the believers to visit the website to know more about the movement and how to bless their pastors.
"First, go to the website, get the free resources of 50 ways to bless your pastor so your church can distribute that to everybody. Secondly, they take up an appreciation offering or give a year-end bonus. Third, they honor them publicly in some way and when they do that, we have a million dollars in gift cards to give away to pastors - a hundred dollars at a time. So when your church does the 1,2,3 at BlessYourPastor.org, we will bless your pastor with a hundred-dollar gift card. Any Christian in America can help that happen," he stated.
Kluth revealed that he was inspired to get involved with the project because as a former pastor himself for 10 years, he experienced how his church members cared for him when he decided to take the role.
He shared that he took a $70,000 pay cut just to lead the church and when his wife was stricken with cancer, the congregation supported them financially and did "so many things to bless" them. He did not lack in anything. With this, he just wanted other pastors and churches to experience what he had.
More than 2,000 churches have already participated in the project, raising over $1.2 million in donations.
The initiative encourages Christians to bless their church leaders in three options, including "50 creative ways to Bless Your Pastor," financial gift and celebrating pastors such as giving them notes, praying for them, among others.
For further details, visit BlessYourPastor.org.