The pastor may be like King David, a man after God’s own heart! But pastors are people too; I’m guessing that’s not news to anyone. I could be wrong, but they too may have insecurities, anxieties, quirky personalities and perhaps unresolved emotional issues. Just like the rest of humanity to whom they’ve been sent to minister God’s love! God calls these spiritual leaders however, to “prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up.” Eph.4:11-12. Wow, we are actually partners in this ministry! We are in teamwork to demonstrate how the Father’s love and grace flows freely to one another. We need to build one another up through encouragement, loving support and nurturing of our faith. We also sharpen one another by telling the truth in love. God opens doors for ways to serve together where He is already at work.

Almost every pastor’s wife I know delights when her hubby is loved, esteemed and appreciated by the whole church family. Maybe she secretly hoped he would be a renowned, dynamic speaker, a deeply sensitive counsellor or a brilliant teacher of the Word whom no one would ever question, challenge, criticize or confront. Humanity being what it is, reality may have proved different. Her beloved may have been taken for granted, blamed, overburdened, maligned, knocked down, taken to task and even underpaid, all the while serving unselfishly and obeying God’s call. Could it be that we have unrealistic expectations of the pastor and his family?

October is Pastor Appreciation Month. “Are there appreciation days for other professions? Why for pastors?” a young pastor remarked recently. Why not? Why wait for a once a year special event to express appreciation to pastors or to anyone? If his sermon gave you deeper spiritual insight, tell him. Has a comment helped you to resolve some issue? Let him know. Tell him how you have been effective with others because of what he taught. Has he inspired and influenced you to be bolder for Christ? Say so. If you don’t want to usurp his precious time, freeing him instead to minister to others, send him an e-mail or a card. If he’s not too busy he might answer; if not, you have blessed him or given him something to ponder on. If you read a good book or article that would give him future resources, pass it on. Surprise him and offer to help in any way that you can; willing workers are warmly welcomed. Has something inspired you? Give him a copy. If you have been encouraged, thank him. Share your joys of family and personal milestones with him; someone who cares about you will rejoice with you. Anyone can commiserate when things are not good. Get a group together and invite him for coffee (or tea and toast if he’s not into coffee), and really get to know one another.

Speak well of him and his family to others. If you have issues with him, speak privately to him. Leaders have often been elevated, or have elevated themselves, to a place where only Christ belongs. Therefore, if you differ with a remark he made, don’t be afraid, ask for further clarification, interact and make the time for open dialogue. Just think, you might both learn something! Teach your children to appreciate godly people in leadership by giving your pastor double honour, as the Bible says.

There is no greater gift you can give than your commitment to pray for your pastor and his family every day. That’s love!

“Respect those who work hard among you; who are over you in the Lord and who admonish you. Hold them in highest regard in love because of their work.”1. Thess. 5:13 & 14

1 comment:

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