The National Association of Evangelicals has announced their 2021 initiative to have believers "Bless their pastors."
In 2019, the NAE announced the Bless Your Pastor Movement, a campaign to bless and provide for their local pastors and invest in them. Since then, the movement has touched more than 2,000 churches and collected more than $1 million in appreciation offerings for their pastors, including $500,000 in Amazon gift cards provided by the NAE.
According to national research, pastors are under extreme stress. The advocacy group claims that 90 percent of pastors are experiencing financial stress, which has escalated since COVID-19. However, 60 percent of pastors are not receiving retirement, health care, or employee benefits. And 40 percent of pastoral spouses work at least 20 or more hours, often without pay. According to the NAE, half of the pastors work for 50,000 per year on average, yet they put more than 50 hours per week into their job.
"Pastors and church staff are emotionally drained," claims Brian Kluth, national spokesperson of Bless Your Pastor. "They have tirelessly served their churches and communities through a very difficult season with little respite. Now is an important time to let them know how appreciated they are. Let's bless pastors and church staff across America like never before."
That is why the NAE is pushing to bless your pastor. In a press release, the NAE encourages congregations to pursue three steps; to encourage believers to find creative ways to bless the pastoral leaders, take up an appreciation offering for said pastor, and celebrate them publicly.
Kluth himself will be traveling around the United States to promote this movement in the coming months, including several media appearances.
The National Association of Evangelicals was founded in 1942. Since its origin, the NAE's membership has included more than 45,000 churches from 40 denominations.