Richard. Vincent. Rose.: Personal Thoughts on Pastor Appreciation

Pastors: We have so many reasons to bless them, and do all we can to help them:

Their dedication, their support, their devotion, their love, their sacrifice, and their leadership.

I use the word “their” because they never act alone, yet they are alone so much. They feel alone, because they are human. I know … isn’t it amazing that we actually feel strange admitting that Pastors are human? After all, we expect them to be super-human. And, in many ways, they are: They are super, and they are human. Let’s face it: We feel that way because we expect them-yes, expect Pastors to do things that we either couldn’t do, wouldn’t do, or don’t think we can do. Or, to put it more bluntly, things we are afraid to do. We forget that they are called to do exactly the same thing we are: To do all we can for the Lord. Are we? Do we? We expect them to. One of the Pastors I most admire told me, “People don’t understand, and would not believe, just how discouraged Pastors get.” We must take every opportunity to express our dedication, our support, our devotion, our love, for their sacrifice and leadership.

I heard this from a Pastor, at a memorial service, in his effort to comfort those who were mourning: “Jesus understands how you feel. He knows what it’s like to be sad, to mourn, to hurt, to be hungry, to be cold, to be alone.” By understanding how Jesus felt, we can understand how Pastors feel.

It’s interesting that we could add the word “to” to each phrase: Their dedication to God, their support to God, their devotion to God, their love to God, their sacrifice to God, their leadership to the church on His behalf. And, what they do for Jesus and His Gospel, they do for us: Their dedication to us, their support to us, their devotion to us, their love to us, their sacrifice to us, and their leadership to us.

We could also add the word “of” to each phrase: Their dedication of, their support of, their devotion of, their love of, their sacrifice of, and their leadership of. They are a living example of Jesus, doing all these things for us, just as Jesus did all for us, on our behalf.

It is always “their” because the Pastor is always the under-shepherd, Jesus’ representative as Shepherd. We are His sheep, His Flock. Jesus commanded Peter to “Feed my sheep,” not “your sheep.” The Pastor never, ever forgets just whose sheep he is watching.

My prayer is that, as we remember their calling as Pastor, we also remember our calling. Only then, can we truly understand what the Pastor goes through each day … not just on our behalf … but on His behalf.

I must close by adding this, because I have to: People are always asking me, asking each other … asking everyone except the Pastor … “What is the most important thing I can do for my Pastor?” I know, they mean well, and usually, yes, their heart is in the right place. I am always asked for my answer to this question. First, I believe the most important thing you can do for a Pastor is to be faithful to pray for them. Pray for your Pastor, your Pastor’s family, and your Pastor’s ministry. Because, trust me, all three are constantly under attack. Allow me to repeat that: Pray for your Pastor, your Pastor’s family, and your Pastor’s ministry. Because, all three are constantly under attack. Did I mention that all three are constantly under attack? They are, so please pray for all three.

Next, the most important thing you can do for your Pastor is be faithful to their calling, and faithful to their ministry. This means go to services, and help your Pastor-yes volunteer in any way you can. Be faithful in attending your church services. Money, gifts? No, the best way to support your Pastor, in a physical sense, is to be faithful to attend services. And, yes, this means special services.
Do all you can to show that you are “with” your Pastor in every way; that you are on the same page as your Pastor. Show that you believe in what your Pastor is trying to say, and trying to do. Be faithful.

There is one common thread that runs throughout: The word, “faithful.”
The first sentence of my answer began with the phrase, “The most important thing you can do for your Pastor is to be faithful …”
This is absolutely true, and every Pastor would agree. The most important thing you can do for your Pastor is to be faithful. Faithful to Jesus … faithful to your calling … faithful to do exactly the same thing which you admire the most about your Pastor: To do all we are called to do for the Lord. To be Jesus to those whom we meet. To be like Jesus in every area in our lives. To be completely devoted to Jesus, to express Jesus in our hearts, our minds, and our actions.
To fulfill the words to the poem, “When I look at you, it’s Jesus that I see.”

I believe that every Pastor would agree that what they want from us the most is what Jesus wants from us the most. Our lives, in service to Him. Which is just what we envision the Pastor to be. I have news for you: This is just what our Pastor envisions us to be.

Yes, it is a popular phrase, “What would Jesus do?” I believe every Pastor would agree that the important question is, “What would Jesus want me to do?”

Let’s do all we can to bless our Pastor, our Pastor’s family, and our Pastor’s ministry.
The greatest gift God gives the local church is their Pastor.
Let’s not wait until a special day, or week, or month. Let’s bless our Pastor and our Pastor’s family, in every way we can, as often as we can.

Blessings to you, your family, and your Pastor,
Richard. Vincent. Rose.

P.S. Please … Let’s not forget about the Pastor’s wife, and their family … or the Assistant Pastor and his wife, and their family!

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