Column — Pastor Appreciation October
Several months ago, a very special pastor I associate with was getting geared up to share something special that God put on his heart. So in his monthly newsletter/calendar he posted a little code and asked those that read it to send him the code. Out of his entire body, only two responded. You could say that the pastor was devastated or discouraged, but not this pastor— he keeps his focus on God. It was a great monitor to show that people are not reading the notes.
Pastors are called by God to lead and to disciple. They spend many hours in preparation and they are on call 24/7. They are in a mode of constant outreach and all the while evaluating concern for the flock. While all of this takes place, a pastor is balancing his own personal life and stewardships. I might add his personals are no less than anyone else!
The Word says, “Preach the word, be prepared in season and out of season, correct, rebuke and encourage — with great patience and careful instruction.” (2 Timothy 4:2) Just in this one scripture I think we can see the magnitude of responsibility. Many people would just pick the parts they like and ignore those corrections and rebukes they estimate that do not belong to them. God’s Word is quite clear.
As Christ Followers, we need to understand that according to Paul, Pastor Appreciation is scriptural and is found in his letters to the church of Corinth and Phillipi. Throughout I Corinthians 9, I Timothy 5:18, Philippians 4:17-19 and more promote taking care of your pastor. And if you have a pastor that is personally invested in the lives of his congregation, why would you not want to let him know you appreciate him?
Hospitality is the heart of the matter with appreciation. The gospel is full of hospitality and God gave all that He had so that we may spend an eternity with Him. As we grow in God, we learn the love of God is to be expressed in how we treat others including those in authority over us. The Word says to honor those in authority. Romans 13:1-7 explains that God, in his sovereignty, has placed people in positions of leadership. In this context, verse 7 says that you should honor them.
As we approach Pastor Appreciation may the mind of Christ be in us. As He loves us, may we love others, even our pastors!
Yvette Perrin is a columnist for The Charlotte Gazette. She can be reached at email@example.com.