Editor’s note: Many churches observe Pastor Appreciation Month in October. Other churches are careful to include the entire church staff as they express their appreciation. As you plan ways to thank your pastor(s) and staff, we hope this free devotion will help shape your thinking.
As you begin, read 1 Timothy 5:17.
Pastor? Minister? Reverend? Father? What do you call the person to whom the Lord Jesus has entrusted your spiritual care?
No matter what title your church gives to those responsible for spiritual oversight, the task calls for a unique temperament. It requires a distinctive combination of spiritual insight, administrative skills, and leadership abilities. And, at times, it places extraordinary expectations and even unbearable burdens on pastors—and on their families.
Most pastors live in a fishbowl; people from both congregation and community watch—and often judge—every move they make. Perfect families. Perfect conduct. Stable personalities. A perpetually friendly demeanor. Members and nonmembers alike expect all this, and more. But human standards pale beside the standards Scripture sets.
Read Titus 1:6-9.
Given all this, no wonder St. Paul urges us to give our pastors “double honor”! What a wonder that anyone consents to serve Christ as an “elder,” a spiritual overseer! And how blessed we are that, in his deep love for us, our Good Shepherd continues to appoint and uphold pastors—under-shepherds—for the good of his church on earth. He has promised . . . (Read Jeremiah 3:15.)
If we’re honest with ourselves, we must admit we have not always honored, loved, and prayed for those who lead us “with knowledge and understanding.” We all need our Lord’s forgiveness for these failures. In addition, some of us need to take fence-mending steps with our pastor, face-to-face.
Then, confident of our heavenly Father’s love and forgiveness in Christ Jesus, we can celebrate the pastoral leadership God has given to us. How would your Lord use you to make a difference in the life of your pastor throughout the coming year? Think and pray about that!