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.