On Tuesday, Beth and I enjoyed the fellowship of about 70 other pastors from the area as guests of Loving Care Hospice and Home Health’s Second Annual Pastor Appreciation Dinner held at the Der Dutchman restaurant in Plain City. It was an evening of fun and good food, followed by an inspiring speaker from the Dallas, Texas area.
I have to admit, Loving Care really did a great job putting everything together for the pastors. Also, I would like to thank the area businesses who contributed to the success of the evening. They are as follows: Beachy Barns Ltd; Conrad, Leibold, Woerner & Co.; Creative Carpets; Hostetler Trucking; Ingram Funeral Home; McCarthy & Cox, Retirement & Estate Specialists LLC; Merchants Bank; Miller’s Cabinet Shop; Pathway’s Financial Credit Union; Starr Trophy & Awards; Yes & Amen; Yutzy Brothers Plumbing; and Underwood Funeral Home. Thank you, each and every one of you for making the evening wonderful.
Let me ask a question to those of you who attend a church. Do you know that the month of October is Pastor Appreciation Month? It is and I would like you to think about how much your pastor does for you and for your church. Most times, people think the pastor only works one or two days a week — Sunday and Wednesday. The rest of the week is spent playing golf or fishing or taking it easy. Well, let me take this week’s article and let you in on a secret.
Most pastors work seven days a week and usually more than 10 hours a day. I know that is probably hard for some to realize because we only see our pastor on Wednesday night at Bible study or Sunday morning at church. But think about the rest of his week when he is required to make calls on those who are shut in at home. Then there are calls to those in the nursing home. Calls to those who are in the hospital. Calls to those who visited the church the last Sunday. Add to that, time spent preparing all of those Bible studies, small group studies and sermons required for the week and I think you would have to agree, your pastor is kept pretty busy throughout the week. And then, there are weeks when he must be there for someone who has lost a loved one. Then there is another message to prepare — a funeral message. Or planning for a wedding. Marital counseling. Premarital counseling. Meetings. Webinars. Seminars.
He may be bi-vocational and be working another job besides the church to make enough income to support his family. There are always people who will call him throughout the week to ask for his opinion on a matter. And those that drop in to visit him when he is in his office. Maybe yours is a smaller church and he is the janitor too. Now he is mowing the lawn in the summer and shoveling the snow in the winter. He might also be responsible for minor repairs around the church, cleaning out the gutters and sweeping the floors so the building looks nice for Sunday morning.
I know that he carries the burden of the lost on his shoulders throughout the week. As well as the burden for those who are hurting or having struggles within his church. We pastors can’t seem to get everyone else’s problems off our minds as we struggle with our own.
I would challenge you to spend a week and shadow your pastor. See what he does and just how much time he spends on church things, visiting, counseling and sermon preparation. You would probably be surprised at how many hours a week he does work. And whether you follow him around for a week or not, know this, your pastor has been sent to your church by the Lord, and God has given him a vision for your church and only for your church. Could I encourage you to pray for him daily? And pray that the Lord would help him carry out the vision he has been given. And then support him in this vision? I know way too many churches who don’t listen to their pastor when he shares his vision with the church, but believe they know the direction the Lord wants them to go. This causes unnecessary conflict and holds up the progress of the church.
Would you second guess your doctor? Or your dentist? Or your attorney? Could you fly that 747 better than the captain who has many hours of training? Your pastor has a calling from God. And he has probably studied the Bible, maybe even went to a Bible college or seminary to better prepare himself for ministry. He might have years of ministry experience and is a godly man. And God gives him a vision for your church. Who is better to know and carry out that vision — you or your pastor?
Do not second guess your pastor. Do not play Monday morning quarterback when your pastor tries to lead your church. Be there to support him and let him know you are with him in the decisions he makes. Be glad the Lord gave you the man he gave you to lead your church and keep him in your prayers daily. Set aside a Sunday to recognize him during the month of October. Maybe a card with a monetary gift for him to go buy that new golf club he has always wanted. Maybe a nice carry-in dinner at the church with his loving members letting him know how much they appreciate him. Whatever, you do for your pastor during this month of Pastor Appreciation let him know you do appreciate him and that you are there for him. He will feel appreciated and you will be blessing him and his ministry.
And that is Something to Think About for this week.
If you are on Facebook, you can watch our service live on Sunday morning at 10:45 a.m. Simply like our Facebook page at crossroadslondon and watch.
Pastor Thad Gifford is the founding and lead pastor of the Crossroads Community Church, 62 E. Second St., London. He can be reached at 740-852-7800, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org, www.3C-Church.org or visit the church’s Facebook page at Crossroadslondon.