Pastor/Clergy Appreciation Month
October is Pastor/Clergy Appreciation Month all around the world. I know there is a huge move in our country blasting, discrediting, criticizing and yes, crucifying pastors and ministry leaders.
But I want to say to all my colleagues whether you are a pastor, staff pastor, bi-vocational pastor, evangelist, missionary or any other ministry leader: thank you for what you do for people. Often for ungrateful and critical people. For broken people, hurting people, bruised people as well as the kind and whole people.
Are there pulpit pimps taking advantage of churches? Sadly, yes.
Are there charlatans? Yes.
Are there people using ministry as a springboard to financial gain? Yes.
Are there bad plumbers, crooked lawyers, unqualified electricians and malpracticing doctors?
Are there banks and hospitals and grocery stores and shopping malls who misuse your money?
Yes. And you still use every one of them when it’s conveniently necessary.
I know a lot of pastors. I would be willing to say I am personally acquainted with several thousand pastor and ministry leaders around the world. And I can count probably on one hand those that I would call pulpit pimps. But 99% of the pastors and ministry leaders I know serve VERY LONG hours, search the scriptures daily seeking the Lord for a right now word to preach to their congregations; spend endless nights in hospitals, visiting the sick, addicts and alcoholics and many people who curse them, criticize them, make fun of them, slander them….then call them when a loved one dies or needs a wedding performed.
NONE of the men and women in ministry that I am personally acquainted with are in the ministry for the money. Many, many of the people work secular jobs to take care of their families so the churches are not burdened with caring for their families. They are there because they know beyond the shadow of a doubt there is a heavenly and holy calling to serve churches, communities and nations (most of all our Lord) with the love of Jesus to the best of their abilities.
Most of the men and women of the cloth I know are not deliberately trying to lead people astray. No some of them are not powerful pulpiteers; they will never write a best-selling book. They will never be published in Charisma, Thomas Nelson and they will never make headlines in the NY Times. As I stated earlier, I do know they study diligently, sacrificing time, birthdays, anniversaries, family reunions and personal pleasure time to cry out to God for a community who often doesn’t even realize they are there.
But they are faithful. And they give to people even when they are dying on the inside themselves. Often times without even a thank you.
And when we stand before God, I am going to be proud to call some of these unknown hidden gems, warriors, gallant soldiers of the cross my friends as they hear Jesus declare, “well done good and faithful servant…”
Honoring a pastor or ministry leader is not worshipping them; it’s showing gratitude for the hundreds of hours a year they are diligently crying out to God for you, your families, our nation and the world for our Mighty God to move with power once again. It’s a way to say thank you for the countless hours they have counseled you, never charging you a dime and then see you walk away and do exactly the opposite of what they counseled you to do.
I say to you my fellow soldiers of the cross:
I thank God you are alive and working for Jesus in this hour.