October is Pastor appreciation month, or I suppose and would hope if you have a multi-staff church, it is PastorS Appreciation month. Even when I was pastoring I was not certain why they had that month. I suspect it might be so Hallmark can sell more cards. Nevertheless, it is on the calendar and “celebrated” across our great land.
Our church had a special celebration this past Sunday, a part of which was “high attendance” – that always pumps the pastor up – and “homecoming” which I suppose is a means of getting those who may have left the church a chance to come “home” and see what wonderful things it is doing. Then of course, a “happy anniversary” day for the Senior Pastor.
These types of things are necessary I’m sure in order to keep the people motivated and moving. Even perhaps to keep the pastor motivated and moving. But, and you should have suspected a “but” – I was wondering what happened to the rest of our staff. Our church has at least three additional full time “pastors”. Yes, I know it’s the quarterback who gets the glory in a win, or the driver who captures the attention on a race team, or the pitcher or MVP that gets the accolades with a World Series win, however most of those heroes will mention and deflect credit onto their support team. That seemed to be missing in this ceremony. I’m not sure why, I could have been anticipating beating the crowd to the parking lot and failed to pay attention. Our Pastor may have been a bit overwhelmed with all of the attention, although everyone has been planning on this for a long time, and lost focus after his touchy words to his family. Perhaps the deacon who was conducting the ceremony just forgot. I’m not certain. What I am certain of, I felt a bit sorry for the other staff who were simply standing in the wings. Now we have not been attending that church a full year yet, so perhaps they have another month where they appreciate music ministers, associate pastors, youth directors and ministers of visitation – that certainly could be. Nevertheless, it would seem rather redundant.
Being a Pastor is never easy. Regardless of the role one takes, it seldom comes with a built-in set of “at-ta boys” from those the minister(s) serves. The ironic thing about pastors, they seldom have a pastor. Someone they can go to for mentoring or counseling. Even on the same staff, associate pastors seldom feel comfortable going to a “senior” pastor, for fear of judgement or suspicion. It truly is a “job” that someone must be called to, otherwise the chances of survival are slim.
I guess what I’m saying is this…Forget about October, on a regular basis we should indeed appreciate our pastors – all of them. If anyone thinks for a minute that role is less challenging than a “real job”, then you have no concept of the call.
Before I go:
A husband and his wife arose one Sunday morning and the wife dressed for church. It was just about time for the service when she noticed her husband hadn’t moved a finger toward getting dressed. Perplexed, she asked, “Why aren’t you getting dressed for church?” He said, “Cause I don’t want to go.” She asked, “Do you have any reason?” He said, “Yes, I have three good reasons. First, the congregation is cold. Second, no one likes me. And third, I just don’t want to go.” The wife replied, wisely, “Well, honey, I have three reasons why you should go. First, the congregation is warm. Second, there are a few people there who like you. And third, you’re the pastor! Get dressed!”