October is celebrated by many as "Minister Appreciation Month".
(It was first introduced just as Pastor Appreciation. But thankfully people began to remember that many churches need a whole team of people to lead. So now most congregations acknowledge all their associate ministers as well.)
Frank and I have already started receiving special cards and extra hugs - we serve the most amazing people! So, I thought you might enjoy an Inside Edition look at why this month of affirmation is so..........well, so appreciated! Smile.
In my Bible I have a particular passage in Psalms highlighted. "He choose David his servant....he brought him to be the shepherd of his people......and David shepherded them with integrity of heart; with skillful hands he led them."
Beside those verses I've written this short prayer, "Father, make us shepherds like this."
Truth be known, nearly every pastor longs to serve their congregation as a man or woman of integrity. The vast majority don't care if their service is ever recognized. In fact, most are extremely uncomfortable with applause or accolades of any sort. We just consider it a privilege and take very seriously the responsibilities that accompany the office of "Pastor".
(Tomorrow I hope to write the story of a miracle that took place for us and our church three years ago during this celebration. So be sure to tune in then for a heaping helping of heart-warming happiness. Sorry, rabbit trail moment! Smile.)
As pastors, we are also acutely aware that this old adage is true:
You may please all of the people some of the time;
And you may please some of the people most of the time;
But you can NEVER please all of the people all of the time!
Yep, it's true - but we don't let that stand in our way of giving it the 'ol college try!! (Trying to please everyone that is.)
Consequently, every so often, you may find the shoulders sagging on a pastor or two. And that's precisely why your encouragement is needed. Your affirmation of things done right really matters more than you could ever know.
And don't succumb to the erroneous thought that your idea for affirmation is somehow insignificant! Heaven forbid!! Do you know how many masterpieces of artwork have graced my husband's office that have been created with coloring crayons?! Smile.
So here's a little nudge.
Send that card, offer a hug, make the call, bake their favorite cake (or cornbread), offer an evening of free babysitting, invite them to your home for dinner..............
(If you need other ideas, just request them in the comment section. I'd love to help you get creative.)
Your pastor is striving to do the very best job he/she can to meet your spiritual needs - take a moment to let them know it matters!
You may be surprised by how tall they are able to stand after talking with you! Smile.