Every October rolls around and we celebrate Pastor Appreciation month. But I often wonder, are we really celebrating them? Are we really appreciating them? Is the month of October the only time we should celebrate and appreciate?
Let me tell you about the reality of my Pastor…
Six years ago we walked through the doors of our new home church, Charity Baptist Church. We had no intentions or plans of getting involved in any way, much less joining this church. Our plan was to sit in the balcony or back and simply be a pew sitter. We were there to heal. Our very first Sunday we heard a sermon by the one we believed to be the Pastor. We walked away completely blown away by not only what we heard, but Who we heard. No, not the man, but the One who spoke through the man.We couldn’t wait to go back! We later found out he wasn’t the Senior Pastor, but God did move him to that position within the next year.
In the last five years, our Senior Pastor has discipled us, mentored us, guided us, and has spoken God’s truth directly to our hearts each week. I can’t remember a time that our family has been through something that he wasn’t there offering support, prayer, love, and words of wisdom and encouragement in some form. Why is that a big deal you may wonder? Because I know the demands on his time.
The idea that often floats through the minds of many is that the Pastor only works on Sundays and Wednesdays. This just isn’t the case at all. They rarely have a day off, and when they do, they’re not truly “off”. While many of us have set hours to clock in and clock out, Pastors are always on the clock so to speak. In the midst of all the demands, they are raising families, nurturing and investing in their marriages, and continually investing in their own personal intimate relationship with Jesus Christ.
Their day consists of hospital visits, counseling, planning, studying, praying, putting out fires, building relationships, impacting the community, meetings, answering phone calls, texts, emails, and I’m pretty certain that’s not all. Sometimes I wonder how they possibly manage it all and still keep Christ and their family front and center. Now I know because I’ve watched. They truly keep Christ front and center and draw strength and wisdom from Him.
Pastors have a demanding job, but it’s more than a job, it’s a calling, an anointing. There’s no doubt that my Pastor is called and anointed! Each week when I hear him preach what the Holy Spirit has put on him to preach, I can see it. Every day when I see him live out his life and serve the church, I can see it. Every time we’ve ever needed anything, we can see it. He spends a lot of time in the Word and in prayer so that he can lead this church the way God has directed him to lead it. I never have doubted his leadership one minute because I trust that God is truly the one leading his life and vision for our church.
So, I purpose the question again, are we really celebrating and appreciating our Pastors? Should we only do this one month out of the year? Absolutely not on both questions!
Celebrating is acknowledging and praising publicly. Appreciating is recognizing the full worth of, being grateful for, understanding the full implications of, and recognizing the value of. How often are we doing that?
Our Pastors work hard not because of a paycheck but because of a passion, a love, and a calling. They give their all, day in and day out. They feel the weight of what they do. They see past an earthly perspective and instead look at everything through an eternal perspective. They wear many hats, face many battles, and bear a lot of responsibility, one that reaches far beyond the life we live now.
So how can we truly celebrate and appreciate our Pastors more than just one month out of a year? I’ve listed a few ways below that I think is a great start for all of us…
- Respect them! Recognize and respect their leadership. When God places someone in a position of leadership, our job is to trust God’s choice, and respect the leader. God is in control, not us, and He knows far more than we do.
- Encourage them! We all need encouragement, but those who encourage the most seem to be the ones that get encouraged the least. It’s not an easy path, they could use some words of encouragement along the way.
- Pray for them! They face battles many of us could never imagine, and the enemy fights them just like he does us. Pastors are not exempt from facing difficulties in life.
- Support them! We may not always agree with the “how” of things getting done, but when we do the first three things listed here, we know we can trust the “why” things are getting done. God has given him a vision, get on board!
Let’s make a point to truly celebrate and appreciate our Pastors! Honestly, where would we be without them? I know we can truly say, we wouldn’t be where we are today!
I’m starting with me today, I want to celebrate and appreciate my Pastor! Thank you Dr. Marty Payton for the countless hours you spend on faithfully living out your calling as a Pastor! I know the lives of our family wouldn’t be the same without your leadership of our church! We respect you, your vision, and your leadership greatly! We thank God for you and are praying for you and your family!
Take time now to give a shout out to your Pastor! He deserves it!
P.S. We did join the church and jumped right in serving! That day, God used that man to speak right to us! We’re thankful!
“Have confidence in your leaders and submit to their authority, because they keep watch over you as those who must give an account. Do this so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no benefit to you. Pray for us. We are sure that we have a clear conscience and desire to live honorably in every way.” ~Hebrews 13:17-18