Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Pastor Appreciation Month

Do you love your pastor?  This woman does!

Mary is a sweet, older woman in our church who struggles with kidney infections on a regular basis.  She recently had two stents put in and it's been made worse because of that.  We received an email from a friend of hers about a week and a half ago, letting us know that she is in a local nursing home until she gets better.

I always find it amazing when Dan and I are on the same page without speaking to each other about it.  It's been over a week and we have not been able to see her.  Some of it is that the nursing home is about 40 minutes away and Dan also works full-time.  It's been a busy few weeks and it's been difficult to go.  However, he came home from work yesterday and said, "We need to get out there."  I had already been thinking the same thing so off we went.

She was so happy to see us and the first words out of her mouth as tears streamed down her cheeks were, "I thought everyone had forgotten me!"   By everyone, she means Dan!  Every time we go she introduces him to everyone as her pastor.  She values that relationship and if he can't get there, it upsets her.

And that is hard on Dan.  He is working full-time, on top of pastoring, and struggles with trying to meet everyone's needs.  

Pray for my husband, please.  He works so hard.  He is a supervisor of 16 high school students with disabilities on top of trying to pastor a church.  The pastorate is a difficult job even without working.  And the hard thing about being a pastor is that people seem to love to pick apart their pastor.  If he doesn't say the right thing or do exactly what they want, they tend to act like spoiled children, stomp their feet and leave.  And that weighs heavily on him.  He feels down when someone leaves the church.  There is always the feeling like you weren't good enough or didn't meet someone's needs or their expectations.

As a pastor, you have a congregation of x amount of people, all with different ideas of what should be done or not done.  Their expectations are such that not even Superman would be able to manage them.

Lest someone thing something happened, let me reassure you that we have a good group of people and we love them dearly.  I'm not writing this because of any particular thing.  I'm just musing out loud. 

But we have had people leave our church over the past 11 years and it always hurts!  They are not just leaving a church but they are rejecting you as a person and friend.  They are severing a relationship not just with the pastor but the congregation, the pastor's wife and their children.  The children feel it the hardest too.  They have a hard time understanding.

October is pastor appreciation month.  I hesitated writing because I don't want anyone to think I'm fishing for something!  Besides, it is "Pastor" appreciation month not "Pastor's wife" appreciation month! lol

Show some love to your pastor this month.  However, not just October but all year long. If you haven't done so recently, let him know how much you love him and care about him.   Cut your pastor some slack.  Give him the benefit of the doubt.  Don't expect him to always have to do things YOUR way.  Don't demand that he preach what you want.  Don't carry on and complain to others about his style of leadership.  In fact, if you are unhappy, go directly to him and not every single other person!

Love on your pastor.  He needs encouragement like everyone else.  Tell him what he is doing right and don't just point out his mistakes.  Believe me, he is very well aware of his weaknesses without others pointing them out.  And don't just feel appreciation for him.  TELL HIM!  He won't know if you don't say it.

Can you imagine how much more effective your pastor would be if you would pray for him and speak words of encouragement to him?  Let's appreciate our pastors!