So, Focus on the Family reminds me it’s “Clergy Appreciation Month”. I’m not sure if this is just something they do (since they do sell things to do with it), but I’ve never seen anyone in my world/circle recognize it. Of course Focus has ministries for various groups; I think there are even special retreats for clergy (check out my link for Focus on the Family in the right column under “Oft-Used Links”, if you wish).
Which is a good thing! In fact, our church has definitely sent pastors on retreats before. But… how often do we actually let our pastors know we appreciate them? Only when it’s time for them to leave? Unfortunately, the pastor is often the Fall Guy for criticism–I know, I’ve heard it, in the past.
Never mind all the hard work, they are expected to be close enough to the people in the congregation that they can bear their burdens–available 24 hours a day, tuned in to all so that the sermons inspire, etc. etc.. Yes, we should be more enlightened in this day & age, but I think even though people know better in their minds, they still have those expectations.
One could say that people should be appreciated every day of the year, without setting aside a particular month…. but people just get so caught up in things, that it’s easy to forget. And it’s not like you have to do a huge special thing (like saving the retreat for October), but if you call attention to it so that people are reminded…. After all, a simple statement of appreciation (or several, from various members of the congregation) can mean so much. Just letting him/her know that you noticed!
For example, what I notice about our Interim Pastor, is that he is so good at presenting both sides to a disagreement, and helping people find their common ground–with a true sense of God’s love for people. He has done the homework and knows all the points for both sides. (That’s probably one of the reasons he’s been called to help churches in transition.) I also appreciate, as you know (see my “Brian FR” tag), his clearly laid out (point by point with scripture) sermons-with-notes. He knows his gifts and uses them! (Speaking of which–his blog is also over there on the right, under “Blogs I Follow”: What do you Expect?)
So yeah, isn’t it time you told your pastor you appreciate him?