October is pastors appreciation month for Sr. Pastors and I wanted to take this opportunity today to say “THANK YOU” to every pastor. I don’t care what denomination you belong to, what the size of your church is or what your preferences are in regards to a worship style. I hope and pray that the church you lead will honor you and show their appreciation for you not just during the month of October, but everyday.
I have learned at Oasis to not have high expectations as to not be disappointed if people don’t show their appreciation for me and my wife. We have zero expectations and therefore leave little room for disappointment.
Toni and I always honor our staff and our staff pastors privately by honoring them and blessing them financially and even taking them out to eat on occasion. We try to always mention them and honor them publicly in front of the entire Oasis Family as well on Sundays throughout the year.
Let me take this time to just tell you thank you Pastor…
For the times you have woke up at night and could not go back to sleep because you were so burdened for the people in your church and you prayed for those whom God has entrusted to your, even when they weren’t aware that you were doing so.
Thank you for the times of intense spiritual warfare that you have endured. You have experienced things that you don’t talk about a lot, but I know about the attacks on you and your family, the nightmares, the intense feelings of inadequacy and yet you have persevered through them because you know that the ONE who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world!
Thank you for the conversations that you have had with people that no one will know about, the ones that took place behind the scenes, out of the eye of the public. You took the time to talk to that one person and did it because you care and not because you felt like you would be rewarded for it. It made a difference.
Thank you for the sacrifices that you have made that no one will ever know about. You have sacrificed time, personal preferences, money, sleep and your own reputation and you have paid a price that most people will never see this side of eternity, and the Lord IS USING your faithfulness to make a difference.
Thank you for the times you wanted to quit but didn’t. We’ve all wanted to quit (usually on Monday’s!) Jesus has called you and appointed you for this time and season in your life. You realize that and couldn’t even fathom doing anything else and so you didn’t quit. Thank you.
Thank you for the times you have wept over the condition of people in your church and over people far from God. For allowing what breaks God’s heart to break yours.
Thank you for the days when you have dared to dream big and have refused to give up on the vision you know the Lord has placed inside of you.
Thank you for the times you have been criticized and slandered against by people who have never even met you and are clueless in regards to your heart for the Lord. They have misquoted you, taken you out of context and tried to destroy you with their word twisting and hate filled inaccuracies. And yet you have persevered, you have resisted the urge to fight with them, keeping your eyes on Jesus and refusing to come down off of the wall.
Thank you for your being led by The Holy Spirit and not responding to that email, facebook post or negative tweet about you or your church from someone who doesn’t have a clue. You don’t have to respond and sometimes it is better for you not to. Thank you.
Thank you for living your life with integrity so that your life privately represents the words you speak publicly.
Thank you for answering the call of God on your life and being used by Him to make a difference in your city or region of influence.
Thank you for ALL that you do! Seriously, you matter! YOU MATTER so much to God that He not only saved you but called you into ministry, He entrusted you with a gift, a calling and a message and He is with you and He will NEVER leave you or forsake you. You can trust Him and He didn’t call you to flame out or burn out but rather to IMPACT this world through the preaching of His Son Jesus Christ.
Don’t allow yourself to be validated or think that your worth is determined by what your church does or doesn’t do for you in this month of Pastor Appreciation. Know that you are valuable and you are the one He has chosen to lead the church you are in.
You may feel overworked, overwhelmed and under appreciated, but I am here to say as a fellow pastor, THANK YOU! I don’t care if you have 15 people in your church or 150,000, what you do MATTERS! THANK YOU I consider it an honor to be on the same team with you and it is my prayer that all of us will keep our eyes on Jesus and press forward as we have been given a job to do!
Now let’s get out there and CHANGE THE WORLD!