Pastor Appreciation

This month is “Pastor Appreciation” month.

Since I pastor a church I absolutely treasure and love, I think EVERY month is “pastor appreciation.” To think we had to come up with this kind of “celebration” years ago because there were churches who didn’t appreciate their pastors breaks my heart.

Today we will have a time to say “thanks” as a church, but beyond me I have to give thanks for those who serve with me.

This year has been a year of intense sacrifice. I have staff that already volunteer almost all their time to lead youth, kids, worship, discipleship, and now a coffee shop. They give their time to meet weekly as a staff. This year brought a new level of sacrifice for all of us. I had to take a “pay cut” (and had to force my board to do it) but then we had to cut what little we were giving those who serve us as ministers.

Today, it’s about THEM. They give. They lead. They teach. They shine as examples for the rest of the church. It’s not about title or compensation for them. It’s about a love for what God is doing in our church and city.

They exemplify what Peter says:

Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, watching over them—not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not pursuing dishonest gain, but eager to serve; not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock. And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that will never fade away. (1 Peter 5:2-4)

For these dear friends and fellow laborers, I give thanks.

I am a very blessed pastor!

Pastor Appreciation

I am a pastor, but I have been pastored all of my life.

This is Pastor Appreciation Month. A whole month? Even father’s and mother’s only get a DAY!

But I do want to give thanks for the pastors in my life:

John Skinner taught me prayer and a love for the Word. He taught me Bible quiz and that gave me a thirst for the Word I carry with me to this day.

Larry Hale was my pastor in college and continues to be my spiritual father and mentor. He taught me the deep calling of pastoring. He taught me to walk through the dark valleys with the Great Shepherd. He taught me to confront the forces that try to take down the Church. BE the shepherd.

John Palmer taught me leadership and the heart of a pastor as well. He still sends me texts from time to time letting me know I am still in his prayers.

I am deeply grateful to these incredible men who have modeled true pastoring to me over the years.

I give thanks.