Updated: Oct 27
- by Derek Holmes CKNB Communications Specialist
“And I will give you pastors according to my own heart which shall feed you with knowledge and understanding”. Jeremiah 3:15
As October draws to a close this weekend, so does Pastor Appreciation Month. As a pastor myself, I often find myself uncomfortable with the idea of a month set aside on the calendar for myself and others who occupy the role of pastor in the church. Don't get me wrong... I appreciate positive affirmation just as much as the next guy; but I believe most pastors would agree with me that we don't do what we do for praise and adulation. And any pastor who judges the effect or legitimacy of his ministry by the "atta-boy's" from his congregation only sets himself up for heartache and hardship in faithfully executing the call of God on his life.
There is always an unspoken awkwardness as well, among other pastors when the subject of Pastor Appreciation Month comes up. I say, "unspoken," because most of us usually try to avoid the subject, realizing that not all churches or congregations approach the month with equally festive spirits. Who wants to be the guy at the associational breakfast who realizes he was the only one at his table who didn't get recognized by his church? And, who wants to be the heel who brings up how kind and generous his church was only to find out that the guy you're talking with got a less than shining impromptu performance evaluation at October's meeting with the Deacon Board?
One thing I have always loved about the camaraderie among the Pastors in the CKNB is that there just doesn't seem to be a huge spirit of competition among us. We genuinely care for one another, praying and hoping the best for our brothers alongside us in the Gospel trenches. When one of us is down, we don't back away. We run to their side to help encourage, support, pray and care. In many ways, you could say that we pastor each other.
Thankfully, I have had the privilege of serving a body of believers who support and encourage me, and have done so through many ups and downs (even in the months where they were not obligated by a promotional calendar to appreciate me), but we all know how quickly the roller-coaster of ministry can take an unexpected nosedive out of nowhere. It is in those seasons where I have thanked God for the compassionate, supportive brotherhood He has provided to me through the leaders and fellow pastors of the Central Kentucky Network of Baptists. I guess what I'm trying to say is that among my brothers of the CKNB, I have always known I matter. I have never not been appreciated. That's the blessing of associational life.
A verse that is often embossed and emblazoned on Pastor Appreciation cards is Jeremiah 3:15, reminding us that pastors are a gift of God to His people... "And I will give you pastors according to my own heart which shall feed you with knowledge and understanding." Pastors, God has given you as a gift to your church, whether or not they realize it right now or properly or adequately express their appreciation for it. You have been given to the church to be the human representation of God's heart to feed the flock and guide them to greater realization of the heart of God. That's a tall order, and maybe overwhelming at times. But, by faith, we trust God who called us to the task will be faithful to complete us for the task. Because the task is important. The task matters. The call is great. No matter how many people take notice or realize how well you're answering the call.
Another thing hit me as I was considering this verse which prompted me to write this post. Pastors, we are not only a gift of God to our church, but associationally, we are gifts to one another. The support and encouragement we share at CONNECT and EQUIP events, the advice we give when another brother calls or texts, the prayers we offer for one another as we gather in groups or alone in our prayer closets all help each one of us to grow and to get a better understanding of the unique role to which we have been called.
So, from this Pastor to the rest of you, I want you to know that you matter. You are important. You make a difference. And I appreciate all of you. You are each a gift of God in my life.