Thoughts on life, leadership and the movement called the church by Brian C. Hughes, Senior Pastor

by Brian C. Hughes, Senior Pastor

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Appreciate Your Pastor

The title of this post seems oddly self serving, but I assure you it's not meant to be.  In fact, I would be rather uncomfortable with prompted self-appreciation as a result of what I write today.  So whatever you do, don't make this about me.

But I would encourage you to point your gratitude towards someone.  Let me explain.

I know that there are some folks who read this blog who are not PCC'ers, but are part of other churches.  Others who are from PCC are a part of all kinds of ministries.

Either way, there is most likely a pastor in your life.  You need to take the time to thank them for what they do.  I can imagine a few eye-rolling looks when I mention that October is 'Pastor Appreciation Month'.  But if you could hang on for a second, I'd like to speak to the subject.

You see, most people have no idea what a pastor does or even who a pastor is.  Most people look at a church like PCC and think that I am the pastor.  That's not really true.  I am one of the pastors.  But there many others.

There are also a bunch of pastors who don't have the title, but are pastors just the same.  Your small group leader is very likely your pastor.  You might not have ever called them that, but you know they are.  Why?  Because...
A pastor is someone who guides you towards God through deliberate training, teaching, care and prayer.  
The best small group leaders I know do all four of those things.

Then there is another group of people who serve as staff pastors.  They have been trained, educated, and specifically called to the vocation of pastoring.  These are gifted folks who really love the people they serve.  Our church would not be who we are, where we are without them.

Being a pastor on a church staff is a role that very few people understand.  I have grown to accept that people have no idea what I do all day, and I've learned to be OK with that.  There are still some folks who think I only work 30 minutes a week and have no idea at all what other staff pastors do.  But I assure you, every pastor I know - from Student Pastors to Campus Pastors to Worship Pastors to Children's Pastors to Executive Pastors to Community Care Pastors (I could go on and on) - every one of them works harder, with more erratic unpredictable schedules, longer hours, for less pay and with a much more exhausting emotional toll than any other profession I've ever seen or been a part.  If you've never done it, you have no idea the toll that pastoring can take.  It is the hardest most exhausting work I've ever done.  It may look like a cushy job to you, but if it was, than most people would stay in the profession, right?  The reality is that most folks who pastor have short tenures and get out long before they retire.  It's just that hard.

There IS a way to do it that makes it sustainable.  And there ARE many rewarding aspects.  That's a conversation for another day.  But today, I'm asking you to take a moment, get out a card or open Facebook, maybe even get a little gift card for a nice place to eat, and write a note about a specific way your pastor has made a difference in your life.  Think about the one who shepherded your teenager or your 4th grader or held your crying child.  Think about the one who was there for you and prayed for you when you were struggling.  Think about the one who taught you about Jesus, helped you to worship God, helped you know Him better, guided you to become a fully devoted follower of Jesus, counseled your marriage....  Don't think of me.  Think of the actual pastor in your life.

Then write the note.  Send a gift.  Tell them thank you.  Tell them you are with them, you've got their back.  Tell them you love them.

Be specific.

It will help sustain them.  These people pour out their hearts and souls for you.  You owe them a little gratitude.  Thank them today.

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