Saturday, October 18, 2008

Pastor Appreciation Day

Here's a picture of me looking very ministerial. The picture was taken by Earl Clore, a retired minister and member of our congregation.

This past Sunday was Pastor Appreciation Day. Not every church remembers this day, but every pastor knows when it is. The fact that every pastor knows when it is makes it really important for churches to remember it. To forget it would be like forgetting your spouse's birthday or forgetting to give your secretary something nice for secretary's day.

Not that getting presents is what matters. Gifts are tokens that express appreciation. Pastors (of course, I'd never say this about myself) often feel under-appreciated and taken for granted. The hours are long and unpredictable. You're on call 24/7. Your motives are misunderstood. You and your family live under a microscope. You're put on a pedestal just so you can be knocked off. So yeah--it means a lot when your church members remember Pastor Appreciation Day and thank you for what you do.

Over the years, churches have remembered Pastor Appreciation Day in a variety of ways. Once, a church I served gave me a beautiful leather-bound 4-parallel-translation Bible. One of my church member refers to this mammoth tome as "The-Bible-That-Kicks-All-Other-Bibles'-Butts." Another year, another church gave me a standing ovation--it cost nary a penny, but brought tears to my eyes. Remembrances don't have to cost anything, and every one is greatly appreciated.

This year, my church remembered Pastor Appreciation Day by presenting my wife and me with a check and a card. "You can either go to some place like Burger King with the kids, and eat like a king; or you can go out just the two of you to someplace like Applebee's." (Of course, we chose the latter.) Then at evening Bible study, one couple (who shall remain nameless) placed a card with a gift in it on my lecturn. This family hasn't even joined the church yet! I was blessed by both remembrances.

Also, I can't overlook another member of our church who has taken it upon herself to be a blessing to the entire group of local pastors that gathers at Antioch for breakfast on Wednesdays. She made goodie bags for each one of us, full of all kinds of useful and encouraging things.

Then there are the ones who recently took us out to lunch at a local restaurant. (You know who you are.) God bless you!

I'm aware that my readership is mostly members of my own church family, so through this blog I want to say "thank you" from the depths of my heart.

But many of you aren't members of my church, and worship elsewhere. I'd like to encourage you to remember your pastors. Thank them for their service to God. It goes a long way toward strenthening a pastor during those long hours. Even if you've missed Pastor Appreciation Day, you can make their day any day. Click here for a link to an article in Christianity Today, "8 Ways To Encourage Your Pastor."

Thanks for reading my long-winded combination of a thank-you-note and shameless plug for pastors. I'm so fortunate to serve such a caring church. I hope your pastor too(if that's not me) feels the same way.

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