Some Thoughts on Pastor Appreciation Month

26 Sep

Next month is Pastor Appreciation month. If you follow me on Twitter you’ll probably catch me whining about something. I’m not sure why or how this tradition started (Not the whining thing but the Pastor Appreciation deal).But over all I think it’s a pretty good idea.  I will be trying to identify with pastors and cheer them up. I’ll also be releasing some of my own insecurities into the Twitter-sphere.  But for now, allow me to give you some thoughts about Pastor Appreciation Month from The Unappreciated Pastor.

1. The worst gifts usually come from a Christian Book Store.

Look, I have a Bible. There, I said it. I have a lot of them. I have Study Bibles, Greek Bibles, hard back Bibles, leather Bibles, Scofield Bibles, Dake’s Bibles, New Testament and Psalms Bibles. I could go on. I preach from a Bible every Sunday and Wednesday. I have a Bible in my home, in my car, in my office, in my back pack when I go hunting. Could we just put “The pastor has a Bible” in every bulletin during the month of October.  I have a Bible. I don’t need another one. And when I do need a Bible I’d really like to pick it out myself.

I have every trinket you could imagine. I don’t know what to do with them all. I have paper weights and little statues. I have pictures with eagles and Bible verses. I have coffee mugs (I don’t drink coffee by the way). I don’t need another trinket. Oh, I’ll smile and play the part if you get me one. But honestly, I don’t like collecting things. And I only have so much room in my office. So when you are in the book store and see that shelf with all the trinkets, save yourself some money and me some space by just walking on by.

I have LOTS of books. And quite frankly, sometimes a book title can add to my low self-esteem. The book title may be “The Secret to Becoming a Great Leader” but what I see is “It is No Secret You’re a Horrible Leader.” Most pastors do read a lot, but once again, we like to pick our own books.

2. Church is about Jesus.

On Sunday I don’t want a big deal made about me. I don’t want people to stand up and applaud the pastor. Pride is already a serious issue I deal with on a daily basis. A church full of people applauding me could just send me over the edge. I’ve read enough of the Bible to know that when people touch God’s glory bad things happen. I can just imagine standing up in response to your applause, clutching my chest and falling over dead in the sanctuary. I really don’t want to go out like that. So let’s just clap for Jesus and make Sunday all about Him.

I don’t want a power-point presentation with pics you stole from my Face book page. And I certainly don’t want any presentation set to Ray Boltz song “Thank You for Giving to the Lord”. I know that sounds harsh but it makes me feel uncomfortable. I’ll never forget the year the lady behind me said “Boy you used to be fat!” during the presentation.  My wife and kids always find themselves in the photos and they aren’t real excited about it either. So let’s keep the focus on Jesus and don’t eat up my preaching time with a power point presentation about me.

3. Three Things I would like.

A story. Maybe God used me in your life. That would be awesome. Stop by my office and have a chat with me. Let’s talk one on one. I struggle with whether or not God is using me all the time. There are many days pastors feel useless. If God has used me in your life come by and tell me about it. I’d love to hear your story.

A break.  Some people just can’t help but complain. I understand that’s some folk’s gift. And I guess I need them to keep me humble. But it would be great if during October you just gave me a break. You can start right up again in November, I promise. Unless it’s something the pastor absolutely needs to deal with immediately, just give him a break. He’ll appreciate that more than you could imagine.

A volunteer. A good pastor wants to see people come to know Jesus and grow in grace. We need helpers in lots of areas to see that happen. If you have simply been a consumer in church change that this month. Volunteer and commit to a time of service for the Lord. Nothing makes a pastor smile like a church filled with volunteers.

 

 

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9 Responses to “Some Thoughts on Pastor Appreciation Month”

  1. Michael September 26, 2013 at 3:08 pm #

    Thank you for your honesty and satire. It is much appreciated. I truly wish my church would follow through with some of these especially the volunteer thing. How great would it be to have more than nursery workers or children church workers.

  2. baptistwonka September 26, 2013 at 6:00 pm #

    thanks for the article, good stuff.

    As for me, I actually took out the announcement about Pastor Appreciation Month this year, because when all is said and done, little is said and done, and I end up more discouraged. If its not in the bulletin, I can always tell myself, “they didn’t know” so you shouldn’t expect anything.

    At the heart of it is not that my church is bad at appreciation, but the feeling each year that if I had done a better job as pastor, they would be more motived to express appreciation.

    b.wonka

  3. Rick Shideler September 26, 2013 at 9:52 pm #

    Thanks man. I appreciate you! Seriously. I read your posts and blogs knowing they are rooted in truth. They make me smile on every occasion but I know they are real and painful many times. Your blogs help me to know how to pray for my pastor. I know he shares many of the same experiences. Love you man.

  4. jeff September 27, 2013 at 9:46 am #

    My church doesn’t even know pastor appreciation month exists. Sometimes this bums me out, but mostly it just makes me grateful I don’t have to go through with it. Kind of like if my wife didn’t know valentine’s day existed. It’s not all bad.

  5. Mark October 3, 2013 at 1:34 am #

    It might also help to know your pastor’s love language. While I have appreciated a cake after church in my honor, I would be much more grateful for some meaningful words of encouragement/affirmation.

  6. Maria October 6, 2013 at 1:00 pm #

    Very strong but really something to think about.

  7. Lee Ann October 9, 2013 at 1:41 pm #

    I laughed so so hard for number one. My youth pastor husband enjoyed it, too. Great stuff.

  8. Elaine Bennett October 9, 2013 at 7:29 pm #

    I prepare the bulletin every week for my small Baptist church in Texas, just 45 families in this year’s Directory. I appreciate the information about what doesn’t work for Pastor Appreciation Month. This week our bulletin will focus will be what a pastor does by Dr. Don Sweeting, President, Reformed Theological Seminary (message is online), along with a comment by a high school teen thanking our Pastor for helping him decide on a career and choose a college. Seems better than another plaque, Bible, book or necktie.

  9. davidhellsten October 10, 2013 at 4:27 am #

    This whole Pastor Appreciation Month is an intriguing concept – I don’t think we have it in Europe (at least I’ve never come across it – or am I just unappreciated?). And why is it needed – can’t people spread their appreciation out over the whole year?
    And I do like the three “gift ideas” at the end – and agree wholeheartedly!

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