Wednesday, October 7, 2009
Heb 6:10 For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have shewed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister.
Heb 6:11 And we desire that every one of you do shew the same diligence to the full assurance of hope unto the end:
Heb 6:12 That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises.
It is October, Pastor Appreciation Month. I have requested, from about 350 pastors on a minister's email discussion list, to know if any have been "appreciated" yet by their churches this month.
The responses have been varied and interesting. One had this to say:
“I do not want to appear to be bragging, but I feel I must say something in regard to this Pastor Appreciation Month issue. As I begin my 14th year here at First Baptist I can honestly say to you my folks do a tremendous job of making both my wife and I feel so appreciated all the time. They do not need a special calendar day to appreciate their pastor.
In January of this year they gave me a 30 day sabbatical and when we returned home there were a large number of cards waiting for us in our mail, all with the message of how much they missed us and well over $1500 in cash in the cards.
Their love for us becomes overwhelming at times. Some of you men on the list know what I say is true because you have had the opportunity to minister to my folks. They are the most loving, kind, gracious and thoughtful people I know and ministering here for the past 13 years has been both a blessing and a privilege.”
There were quite a few pastors who responded by stating that nobody in their churches ever has a clue about PAM (Pastor Appreciation Month) and that the month comes and goes every year and they are left feeling broken-hearted.
Of course, it would be inappropriate for the pastor to broach the subject to his parishioners without sounding egotistic or self-serving. But on the other hand, I feel it is a real shame that the people of the churches would neglect the person who, at the expense of his own family and self interests, pours himself into their lives without any expectation of earthly thanks. Additionally, it is obvious that many church folks have no knowledge that such a thing as pastor appreciation is needed. Many others know, but simply forget. Life gets busy. Perhaps it will help pastors appreciate the emotions of the wives who’s anniversaries are neglected.
I asked a missionary, who has now been preaching for 60 years, what he thought about PAM, he said he never even heard of it! Great is his reward in heaven.
Indeed, the spiritual servant's attitude must be, "We are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our duty to do."
At heart, the servant knows that an even greater reward is being prepared even now up in glory. He awaits these long sought after words from the One Who is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love... "Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many
things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord."
Whether you are a pastor or you serve God in some other endeavor, know that God knows, and that is most important.
In the song, Holy Shore, we have this thought expressed:
I HEAR GOD'S CHILDREN TESTIFY
WE'RE TROUBLED SICK AND WORN
SOLDIERS FAINTING IN THE FIGHT
NOT WANTING TO GO ON
OUR KNEES ARE SORE FROM BOWING
YET WE KNOW THAT'S HOW WE WIN
SO PLEASE LET ME REMIND YOU
IT WILL BE WORTH ALL THE PAIN
OH WEARY WORKER I KNOW THAT YOU'VE HEARD
THAT WE'LL SOON BE GOING HOME
SWEET INTERCESSOR IT WILL BE BETTER
OVER ON THAT HOLY SHORE