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Every October, pastor appreciation month, thousands of churches throughout the United States and other countries find special ways to honor and express gratitude for pastors.

Pastors come in all shapes and sizes. They may be men or women. No two are exactly alike. Some are more highly educated than your medical doctor, lawyer, teacher, governor or president. Some of our most effective pastors, however, did not have the opportunity for higher education. These pastors have spent many years in self-directed study.

Some of the best educated pastors I have known, and I have known thousands of them, were not graduated from college or even high school, but they spent years and hours each day in reading, serious Bible study, attending conferences, learning from others and relying on superb mentors to rise to the top of their profession and calling.

Many older ministers were not enrolled in a church pension plan early in their ministry and so their pension may be very small along with small social security checks. Most have retired and no longer pastor churches after the age of 75. Prices continue to rise and income remains where it has been.

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