Thanks to James Dobson, H.B. London and the Focus on the Family organization in the early 1990’s, October has been known as Pastor Appreciation Month. Here’s what this pastor appreciates.
I appreciate church folks who…
• Love unconditionally (They love each other, love their neighbors, love their enemies, love sinners, love saints, love adherents to other religions, love those with no religion, love everybody even me. No conditions.)
• Pray frequently for their pastors and church.
• Give generously.
• Read their Bible often.
• Reflect Jesus in their attitudes and actions.
• Are kind, honest, and dedicated.
• Allow the pastor’s spouse and children to be themselves.
• Use social media to spread goodness not gossip.
• Understand that pastors (like everyone) are not perfect and are quick to give the benefit of the doubt and offer grace even when the pastor blunders.
• Uplift, encourage and cheerlead the good things happening in the church.
• Recognize that they haven’t arrived and are growing and striving to know God more and more.
• Act justly, love mercy and walk humbly with God.
• Clean the church as if they were cleaning it for Jesus, himself
• Refuse to judge their pastor based on a disgruntled squeaky wheel’s blather, but form their own opinion based on his/her personal interactions with the pastor.
• While sitting on the church board, understand that leadership is about godliness, commitment and servanthood.
• Work behind the scenes for God’s glory not their own.
• Greet church visitors like family.
• Brag on Jesus all the time.
• Offer to babysit the pastor’s kids—so the pastor and spouse can go out on a date (of course, my boys are in their twenties, married and rarely need a baby sitter these days).
• Regularly invite their friends to church and share their faith.
• Come out on mission work days just as eagerly as they show up for fun days.
• Make the tastiest pot-luck entrées (Lemon pie? Yes, please!).
• Refuse to utter discouraging but pious sounding clichés like: “I’m not being fed,” “We have never done it that way before,” or “We are looking for a more spiritual church, but it’s not about you, pastor.”
• Hate to miss Sunday church services and rarely do.
• Love a good joke and are quick to laugh at themselves.
• Encourage young adults to fulfill their potential in Christ.
• Ask questions like: “How can I help?” and “Where do you need me?”
But most of all, I appreciate that God has called me into pastoral ministry where every week I get to proclaim the goodness, mercy, grace of our Lord Jesus Christ and serve alongside some of the greatest people in the world!