October is pastor appreciation month. Great idea! More importantly, it is a biblical, God-honoring, encouraging, and unity-building idea!!
Paul wrote in I Timothy 5:17, “The elders who direct the affairs of the church well are worthy of double honor, especially those who work in preaching and teaching.” Honor means “to hold as valuable; regard in high esteem; show respect.” One definition even defined honor as “precious.” Pastors are very special gifts from the Lord as under-shepherds of His bride, the church.
Parsonage.org described the life of the pastor well: “Pastors and their families live under incredible pressure. Their lives are played out in a fish bowl, with the entire congregation and community watching their every move. They are expected to have ideal families, be perfect people, to always be available, to never be down, and to have all the answers we need to keep our lives stable and moving forward. Those are unrealistic expectations to place on anyone, yet most of us are disappointed when a pastor becomes overwhelmed, seems depressed, lets us down, or completely burns out.”
Jeanne and I have been very fortunate and blessed to have pastored four loving, generous, and enormously encouraging churches. There was always a Billy or Barbara Baptist who took the initiative in leading the church to say a big “thank you” in tangible ways. They remembered birthdays and anniversaries, and were a constant source of blessing to our children. They knew how to lavishly appreciate and love, which pushed us on and simply made us desire to be greater servants in the Kingdom. For the many kindnesses shown to us at New Hope Baptist in Leakesville, Mississippi, First Baptist in Vancleave, Mississippi, FBC Morristown, Tennessee, and FBC Sevierville, Tennessee—we are so appreciative of you!
Any time you can, any way you can, love your pastor, his precious wife and their children. If you need some good ideas, I’ve got plenty. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
It is a joy to be on this journey with you.