The Voice of The Salvation Army in Canada and BermudaView RSS Feed
Oct1WedShow your officers you care with a few simple actions. October 1, 2014 by Kristin Ostensen
Dear brothers and sisters, honour those who are your leaders in the Lord's work. They work hard among you and give you spiritual guidance. Show them great respect and wholehearted love because of their work (1 Thessalonians 5:12-13 NLT).
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A day in the life of a Salvation Army officer … it might include anything from handing out canned goods at the food bank to counselling a corps member who has lost a spouse, running a Bible study or shooting hoops with some youth. The Bible calls us to honour those who lead us, and this October we have the perfect opportunity to do so during Clergy Appreciation Month. Here are some ways that you can thank your officers for all that they do.
Send cards. Depending on the size of your corps, you may want to encourage people to write their own cards or sign a group card. Get the children at your corps involved by having them make cards during Sunday school.
Take a corps photo. Take a group photo of your corps members and frame it for your officers. Put a large mat around the photo and have everyone in the photo sign it.
Create an encouragement jar. Assemble a large jar and many slips of paper and ask people at the corps to write encouraging messages for their officers. These could be Scripture verses, inspiring quotes—whatever they think will encourage their leaders. The messages don't need to be long or complicated. Pulling out a message as simple as “You can do it” may be just what your corps officer needs when he or she is having a difficult day.
Organize a practical work day. Find out what needs to be done around your officers' quarters. Create a sign-up sheet and get corps members to wash a car, mow the lawn, clean gutters, trim bushes, weed the garden, change light bulbs—whatever needs to be done.
Thank your corps officers publicly by taking out an ad in the local newspaper. Show your whole community how much you appreciate them. As a bonus, this kind of public notice doubles as an advertisement for your corps. Who wouldn't want to go to a church with such a beloved pastor?
Organize a sharing Sunday. Ask a few people at your corps to share about a meaningful experience they have had with your officers.
Create a video presentation. Use photos of your officers in action to create a video slideshow. Incorporate video clips if they are available. Show the presentation at a Sunday meeting.
Create a photo book for your officers. Another great way to use photos of your corps officers and your corps in action is to create a photo book. Many retailers, from Wal-Mart to Black's, as well as a host of online retailers, offer this service. Not only is a photo book a great thank-you gift but it will also make a lovely memento for your corps officers when they are moved to a new appointment.
Recognize a milestone. Find out if your corps officers are celebrating an important milestone in their ministry this year. Perhaps they have just been promoted to captain or major, or they have reached 25 years of service. Consider holding a dinner in their honour.
Organize a date night. Give your officers a night off they will remember. Organize an all-expenses-paid date from start to finish with reservations at a nice restaurant and tickets to a show or some other fun activity. If they have children, be sure to provide babysitting for the night.
Compliment their children. This may sound strange, but many officers feel enormous pressure to be perfect parents, as well as perfect pastors. Let them know they're doing a good job.
Give them a World's Best Pastor mug. The classic. Remind them every time they get their cup of joe how much you appreciate them.
Pray for them. An absolutely essential way to support your corps officers. Ask God to bless them and guide them in their ministry.