Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Pastor's Appreciation Day

I don't know where the idea came from (okay- it is in scripture Gal. 6.6) but it sure is a blessing to be on the receiving end of it! Often the job of the pastor can be exhausting. I used to talk all the time to men and women who were pastoring in places where congregations didn't show their appreciation for their pastors. It made their job all the more difficult.

Pastors have to listen to garbage, carry out the spiritual trash, administer the dirty details of the church (including hiring and firing), and they are the CFO and the CEO of the church. They are expected to have an exemplary prayer life, character, family, home life, and oratory skills. They are counselors and confidants. They are friends and mentors. They are examples to young children and adults alike. They are lead evangelists in the church. They are the promotion committee, the organization committee and even, sometimes, the janitor. They are the topic of much gossip and condemnation from people over a Sunday lunch yet they are often the first person called when those same people are in the hospital. (And don't think they are ignorant of who is saying what about them!) Yet they marshall a smile and do the work of God without an attitude most of the time.

After 23 years of carrying the torch for Jesus as a pastor I recognize that the job is beyond description. Drug addicts on your porch, screaming couples in your living room, constant phone counseling with those who need to hear your voice, email answermen and wonderwomen. They lead worship, crack jokes, and cry at the hospital bed. And what about the funeral, baptism, child dedication, or wedding. They are dependable even when their paycheck isn't.

I am so grateful for the people who serve alongside me. And, maybe it shouldn't be this way, but the Pastor appreciation day has come to mean something to me. If I am a ego maniac, forgive me- but it is nice to hear that you are appreciated.

My thanks goes out to the pastors who have invested in my life Rev.Walter Pederson-an example to my young eyes of a caring spirit filled shepherd; Rev. Galen Hertweck- a master of exegetic masterpieces who loved people and remembered my baby's name.

Christianity Today put out an article that shows how to bless your pastor. (Though Cash is always appreciated! :') 8 ways to bless you pastor.