Today is November 1, and as I was looking at my calendar I noticed that October had passed along with Pastor Appreciation month. I didn’t realize until now because to be honest, I speak for most when I say, you really were not on my priority list. I’m sorry.
I attended Bible college and I chuckled as I sat back and listened to the other girls dream and pray to marry a man of ministry, a pastor. The truth is, I prayed for the opposite. In my selfishness I prayed NOT to marry a pastor.
BECAUSE I was raised in the home of a pastor.
BECAUSE I saw what REAL sacrificial ministry looked like.
BECAUSE I know that being a man of ministry often means working long hours that are unnoticed and unappreciated by most.
BECAUSE I have observed that just one phone call on a Saturday can often change your relaxed plans to a visit to the hospital, or an emergency counseling session in the church office.
BECAUSE I know that although you are called to serve, sometimes like the rest of us, you just don’t feel like it, but that is not an option for you.
BECAUSE I’m aware that you will give your time, and your energy, and your efforts, many times without a thank you. You will help people buy groceries for their family and pay their utility bills, in many cases out of their expectation rather than their gratitude.
BECAUSE as a pastor you are likely receiving a pay check, but it is probably a fraction of what many in your congregation are earning.
BECAUSE I have observed first hand that the sermon many will assume you spent mere minutes preparing, likely took you hours ,and days; as you prayed, and studied, and read, and battled to find out what it was the Lord needed you to speak.
BECAUSE I know that other’s will pick you a part for the slightest issue, but you are only human.
BECAUSE it is emotionally draining to speak God’s truth, and to shepherd a congregation, and to let God work through you every single day, even in the midst of the hard moments.
BECAUSE it will be difficult for you to find real true friendships anywhere you go, after all, you are not a friend, you are a Pastor.
BECAUSE people who you considered to be friends will walk away from you without ever feeling that they owe you an explanation, and while you grieve the loss of a friendship, they will pretend like nothing happened, after all, you were just their Pastor.
BECAUSE I know that some people will accuse you of giving too much, while others will accuse you of not giving enough. You will never be able to make everyone happy at the same time, and the unhappy people WILL let you know.
BECAUSE God has burdened your heart for people, but people are hard, people are complicated, people are frustrating.
BECAUSE while no one is watching, you have likely prepared the food, or scrubbed the toilets, or purchased the supplies, or done a million other little things that are not in your job description.
So, today, Pastor, I say thank you. Thank you for doing all of the above. Thank you for following the call God has placed on your life.
While some may think your job is easy I know the truth. You are far more valuable then you will ever receive credit.
Keep your head up. You are making a difference. Thank you.
*** This letter is intended to Thank our Pastors for all the things we often take for granted AND to remind us of the truth of what they do. Would you consider passing this along to your Pastor along wit a note of gratitude?***