After the late worship service last Sunday, one of our members who shook my hand said, “I just want to thank you for what you do.” At that moment I was losing my voice and I said as best I could, “You’re welcome.” He continued, “You’re here week after week and you always lay out the message clearly. I appreciate that.”
That was a powerful moment. Words of thanks that only take a few seconds to speak are potent. I know that, but I also need to be reminded. One can never say, “Thanks,” too often. And one ought never underestimate the difference those words make.
A simple “thank you” acknowledges a person, validates their actions, elevates them and expresses your feelings towards them. Your value and theirs increases with words of appreciation.
Here’s a great question to ask yourself each morning: “Who can I thank today?” A spouse, a barista, a teacher, a child or a contractor? How will your word of thanks make a difference?
It's that time of year again. pastor appreciation month. In a little over a week, it will be pastor appreciation day, October 13. I am not sure who started this movement, but I suspect it was someone in the greeting card business.
I'll be frank. I've got mixed feelings. Of course I like to be appreciated. Who doesn't? Yet at the same time, I'm conflicted. There have been many Sundays when I have fervently prayed that people not be impressed with me, but with God and all He's done for us. The very nature of a pastor's job means being in the spotlight, but the whole time, I am trying to get you to appreciate the Son of God to whom we say we ascribe all the glory and honor.
Plus, the whole idea of appreciation is expressed in some very unusual ways. Cards, gift cards, keychains and the always popular religious themed tie. There are some other lists out there with ideas, but most still miss the mark.
Want to make your pastor feel appreciated?
Show up. We pastors spend a lot of time preparing sermons and bible classes for you. It kind of defeats the purpose if you aren't there to hear them.
Suit up. When you are asked to take a position of leadership in the church, head up a ministry, or help out, say, “Yes.” We pastors spend much time equipping you for ministry. It's not encouraging at all when person after person says, “No.”
Speak up. You have something on your mind? Tell me. Ask me. Challenge me. Don't assume I know. I am terrible at reading minds. And don't try to get to me through someone else, especially my wife. I'd really appreciate that.
Look up. Hey, I am a pastor, so I have to throw out a bible passage. How about Colosians 3:1 “If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.” Develop a vibrant relationship with Jesus, and I will feel like my work has not been in vain.
I know that not everyone will appreciate these comments, but it's my blog and I'll rant if I want to. It's just some food for thought. I'll try and be a little less cynical tomorrow.