Sunday, October 25, 2009

I Appreciate My Pastor

October is Pastor Appreciation Month.  Since I have an up close and personal view of a Pastor’s life, I was reminded in the last few weeks just how much I do appreciate my pastor.


He has been preaching through some difficult portions of scripture on submission and gender roles.  Because our culture sends the opposite message, it’s a tough road to travel.  He has done a great job teaching what the Bible has to say about it all.


He was invited to offer Biblical hope and forgiveness to a group that had no place for God.  He was heartbroken for them while I was annoyed.  He prayed for them.  He prayed about what to share the next day.  We saw God really work in hearts and thankfulness for what he shared.  No matter what the response is, Pastors keep sharing Jesus and his love.


It’s not easy being a messenger of a God that many people don’t believe in, and a teacher of a book that many people feel isn’t true.  I was just reading about a pastor that is standing for Biblical truth and under great attack.  He’s being called nasty names.  It’s not as easy as it may look from the outside.


I’ve talked before about the difficult things pastors face here, like comforting grieving families. But the suffering aspect comes as a shock because this is America.  We have our rights.  We are free.  We are tolerant.  But Jesus tells us in the Bible to expect to suffer for his name.

Matthew 10:22

All men will hate you because of me, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved.

Mark 8:34-36

Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.  For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me and for the gospel will save it.  What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul?”

We always feel encouraged and appreciated at our church.  They are a gracious, loving and sort of unruly bunch and we love them.  Last weekend while we were gone they put on a new deck, painted the stairway and cleaned our carpet!  But not all pastors have that kind of support.  Sometimes when I hear of the way things are in other churches I realize how blessed we are to be with such a gracious group of people.


I heard the Pastor at my home church this summer.  I haven’t heard him preach in a long time and he’s still got it.  His wife is still sitting in the front row.  When I went to college, I visited all the up and coming churches in the area but stuck with my church because of Pastor Rich’s biblical preaching.  I am going to send him a note of encouragement this month.

We have a lot of pastor friends that are serving in difficult places.  I can be used to encourage them.

As I encourage the pastors around me, would you do the same?  They have a calling that is a joy but can be very difficult and perilous too.  Find a way to send a pastor you know some encouragement and appreciation this month and then keep it up.  October is almost over, but they need our encouragement year round. 


Acts 5:41

The apostles left the Sanhedrin, rejoicing because they had been counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the Name.


Deb Hansen said...

Good thoughts Michelle!

We visited with retired VM's Joan and Harold McGinnis recently and he was filling in for his pastor who was away with his wife for their anniversary. Harold still has it after all these years and that was such an encouragement to us that we can be like them in the next 20 years.

Have a great week!

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