I've been having an ongoing dialogue with a friend who is also in the ministry for the past several days. We've discussed the frustrations and stress of being a pastor. He made the comment to me about feeling alone and unappreciated, and I had to relate to him that not only do I often feel the same way, but the statistics show that most pastors feel the same way. (I will share statistics in the next blog entry.) While looking for these stats, I ran across the following article on the web that I wanted to share. It is taken from Revelife.com. You can click on the title below to visit their site.
Usually October is Pastor's Appreciation month and a day is set apart for a celebration to honor a pastor. You know what comes next..... people share funny stories, tell him he's the best pastor ever or send him off on a trip of serenity. Believe me, he enjoys all of that. Should I say, he needs appreciation, but not just in October. I'm not talking about gifts or admiration – I'm talking about watching his back, looking for ways to send messages of appreciation and asking him how you can pray for him.
Jezebel is out there tearing him down, sowing seeds of discord and doing what she/he is good at: undermining his authority. Haven't you heard or seen it? I have. Growing up in church I found myself actually jumping on the bandwagon and following what people said. The problem was this....I didn't have all of the facts! There are two sides to every story!
Jezebel killed the prophets; she usurped authority and had a smile on her face while she did it. I'm not apologizing, but she only did what her parents did....practiced Baal worship. The enemy is out to rob from your church, kill the unity and steal the love that is needed to have a balanced church. What are you doing to keep Jezebel under control? Is your church taking the time to support your pastor emotionally or is he surviving just to keep his job?
Everyone needs love. Everyone need appreciation, but please, it has to be consistently! For every kind word you say, there are probably 5-10 unkind words spoken to him out of rudeness or anger. He can never be all things to all people, but why do expect him to know it all and be able to bring fire down from heaven just so you can say you saw a miracle?
He is a man or woman who has feelings and they bleed, too! Ask the Lord how you can encourage your leader and them get a team of people to find ways to speak "life" to him....cards, phone calls, texts, a cup of coffee (cappuccino).....you get the point. It's not about money, although that can be a blessing for those who are under financial strain.
One year a woman from our church did something little for us everyday of the month. Everything was wrapped up in little packages and we were to open a gift everyday as marked...I was overwhelmed! I will never forget that Pastor's Appreciation Month. Get creative and go beyond the norm and make a memory for your pastor as often as you can....he may even preach better knowing he is loved!
What have you done for your pastor? Feel free to post Pastor Appreciation Day ideas or just say thanks to all the pastors out there!