Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Pastor Appreciation

Proverbs 18:12  Before destruction the heart of man is haughty, and before honour is humility.

To all my pastor buddies out there... I love you and appreciate you!!!

I suppose one of the unfortunate things to happen to ministry in America in these past several years is the idea of a Pastor Appreciation Month. Boy, has that backfired on the clergy!

 I don't think we can blame this fall-flat-on-its-face occasion on the greeting card companies like the extreme proliferation of Val's Day, Mom's Day, Grand Parent's Day, etc. The reason being, that they aren't making anything off this special occasion.

I suppose some very well-meaning, big-hearted individual thought it would be extremely appropriate to give honor to pastors by setting aside a whole month to appreciate the pastors. That month, the pastor could be showered with texts, tweets, e-mails, FB messages expressing gratitude for their labors. Church families could invest a Sunday afternoon meal for the preacher and his family, whereby Tyson could make a killing (literally and figuratively) in chicken sales. A special service could be set aside in the church during October to do a "this is your life" for the preacher. Gift cards to Amazon or Barnes and Noble would be given the preacher to enhance his library. The church may invest in a conference on ministry to help the preacher better tend the flock or to preach the Word more effectively. Some churches may even use this opportunity to send the pastor and his bride away for a weekend at a resort or, possibly even a cruise, mission’s trip or Holy Land excursion for pastors who have led and fed well for many years. (Really, most would be satisfied with a personal note, handshake or pat on the back.)

May God richly bless whoever this person is or was had these noble intentions. 

However, for the most part, the common church goer either has no idea that such an appreciation month even exists, or, they have an inkling but assume somebody will carry the ball in such matters then they will just participate when the secret note has been passed.

But the memos generally fail to initiate. Somebody assumes someone else will generate the real-good-feel-good effort on behalf of the church and before you know it, the ghosts, ghouls and goblins of October are exchanged for the cornucopias of November and, to the pastor’s chagrin, the moment was not seized.

I have two things to say to you, dear co-laborers in the vineyard.

One, this pastor knows of and recognizes your labors and gives thanks to the Lord for you. This fellow servant offers his hand in fellowship, his shoulder in sorrow, his heart in compassion and his appreciation in the work.

And, more importantly, two, your appreciation day is just over the horizon. The crown which will never tarnish is on order now. Listen to what Peter has to say about the Hallmark greeting you will be met with in the Halls of Glory...

1Peter 5:1  The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed: 2  Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind; 3  Neither as being lords over God's heritage, but being ensamples to the flock. 4  And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away. 5  Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble. 6  Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:

So preach on preacher. Encourage the hurting, exhort the laborers, rebuke the unruly, feed your flock, win the lost, disciple the saved. God is not 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. 6:10

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