In a world of ridiculously silly “Appreciation Days” (Hallmark/Facebook creations, Oldest, Middle, Youngest Son or Daughters, best friend’s second cousins cat…etc) there’s another one coming up on October 9th, Pastor Appreciation Day.
It’s nice to appreciate things and people but it seems a bit ingenuous and with shallow sincerity when pressured to mimic the other people feeling the very same pressure to show their appreciation. Many times I see “Oh I forgot to post this yesterday…” or “I didn’t know this was a thing…” and the worst “since everyone else was doing it…”. I hope you realize all this data and pics are collected by a company whose only motive is to have your information and make money. I highly doubt is saying “oh how cute…” or “oh boy, they sure love their whatever I asked them to show this time…” It’s more like “thank you for a possible password and demographic information”. But I digress from the main topic, the truly important Pastors Appreciation Day (FYI, I like Dunkin or Wawa not Starbucks…just kidding).
As a pastor I have been very blessed by many of you. It is an honor to be a pastor at CCGC. I’d say its a “dream job” but really its a CALLING and I LOVE it. I love hearing people call across the room to say HI! I love the kids running up to me…”Pastor Steve…Pastor Steve…guess what…” Every day I do NOT take lightly my position and responsibility at the church. I am thankful for God placing me where I am here at CCGC in Family Ministries.
It’s interesting the difference between what people EXPECT of a pastor and what God REQUIRES of a Pastor. The list of requirements seems automatic…but know, for a pastor it is a battle to keep them in check. We’d be lying to you if we said Satan doesn’t tempt us to imbibe in such things daily, we need our armor daily, not just polished and looking good to those who see us. There are days when the armor is too heavy, there are days its a struggle to even put one piece on let alone all of the pieces. A pastor needs to be balanced in all areas, in himself, at home and in God’s House. That’s a lot of plates to keep spinning.
1 Timothy 3: 1-7
Here is a trustworthy saying: Whoever aspires to be an overseer desires a noble task. Now the overseer is to be above reproach, faithful to his wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. He must manage his own family well and see that his children obey him, and he must do so in a manner worthy of full respect. (If anyone does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of God’s church?) He must not be a recent convert, or he may become conceited and fall under the same judgment as the devil. He must also have a good reputation with outsiders, so that he will not fall into disgrace and into the devil’s trap.
An elder must be blameless, faithful to his wife, a man whose children believe and are not open to the charge of being wild and disobedient. Since an overseer manages God’s household, he must be blameless—not overbearing, not quick-tempered, not given to drunkenness, not violent, not pursuing dishonest gain.
Rather, he must be hospitable, one who loves what is good, who is self-controlled, upright, holy and disciplined. He must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it.
If there are times you see a pastor less than all these things the first thing is NOT to “share” your observation with others. You should feel free enough to share the very thing that may cause concern. You may not have the whole story or possibly it is something that your pastor needs to hear from you, privately.
I wanted to share some ways you can easily show your appreciation to pastor every week. It will make our serving you and others a whole lot easier. It will also allow God to move in and through us in our own personal and spiritual walk.
Obviously PRAYER is the greatest way to show appreciation for your pastor. Go back and read over the list of biblical requirements and pray daily for the pastors in all those areas. IF God is expecting these things know for sure it is there that Satan will attack the hardest. Pray preventively…which means pray for protection from these things. That is a lot more needed to keep from needing to pray for deliverance from those things.
A few other things that show appreciation, love and respect for your pastors are some practical things. As much as pastor “feel the love” but there are a few things that you may not know your pastors would also find appreciative of you. Some may seem hard to hear but some of the littlest things Satan uses to get a foot of distraction in the door of any speaker.
Arrive on time is a huge deal. First off you get to sing praises and worship God. You get there a bit earlier and you can fellowship or prepare yourself for the service. Skipping worship and sneaking in at the beginning of a service, trying to find a seat in a crowded room, shuffling through a row while others are trying to pay attention isn’t a good thing to try and jump start a message. You also miss a bunch of announcements and church info. Actually being early at church has great advantages for you and shows respect for the worship team, the pastor and most of all God. These seemingly little things to you does disrupt others who made it on time. (And parents please consider this, coming late means your children miss much of their Large Group teaching time. Some kids are routinely coming in mid-lesson, missing the teaching of verses, missing worship, they miss a lot of what you want them there for.)
When a pastor is teaching he often is in the “Spirit Zone” where God is speaking through him. It’s not untypical for a pastor to study and prepare a message in outline form that lets the Spirit move through them as they speak. Distractions can really catch a pastor off guard. We try not to let that show but it happens. People coming in late, people getting up and down, in and out of the room, louder than a whisper chit chats are easily noticed and does throw a pastor off. Understand, Satan uses those seemingly minor things to disconnect the pastor from the Spirit moving. It takes a bit to get back on track and back in the ‘Spirit Zone”. While it may seem minor to some, to a speaker that can completely throw them off track.
Some of these things people may not even notice doing. I am sure no one intentionally does this stuff. We, as pastors, know you love us…that is AWESOME to know, encouraging us every day. So typically we say nothing about it but since its Pastor Appreciation Day I thought now’s a good time to share that. Our aim is to lift God up, present teaching that will challenge each of you to grow in your faith. We want to motivate each other as a body to work as one to share the love of God when we step outside the church. We appreciate you appreciating us! We love you and know you love us!
Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.