Rolled my eyes at an article the other day, “The Ten Best Pastors” or some such thing, all being honored for their “consistent pulpit performance.” I guess it struck me as funny because I’ve never heard of a single name on that list and when I hear “performance” I always think of performance art, like you know, mime or interpretive dance or something.
So I’m pretty sure that the ten best I’ve never heard of actually mime all their sermons, which I do think would be quite funny.
So October is Pastor Appreciation Month or as pastor’s tweet recently quipped, “also known as passover.” I do love some cheesy gallows humor sprinkled with a bit of heresy.
I love pastors. I like to hang onto at least a dozen of them, just in case I break one. It’s kind of like going to Costco, if you find something good, buy a whole case. Always have a back up. Build a spare room just to house all the extra paper towels. The point being, you don’t ever want to run out. Ever.
I saw a really cool sign the other day. It said, “Welcome. How can you make our staff feel appreciated today?” Whoa. Anybody ever worked in such a place? Me neither.
But church should be like that! Church should be a place you go to worship the Lord, and to help other people feel appreciated, all of them, but especially pastors. Hebrews 10:25 speaks of meeting together and encouraging one another, ALL THE MORE.
I enjoy that “all the more.” It’s like MOAR. Are you encouraging one another? Well good, but do it MOAR. You simply cannot encourage one another enough, unless of course it involves a felony or something, in which case you might want to set down the pom poms. Other than that, lift up, encourage, inspire, nurture, edify, and pour appreciation all over one another. It’s biblical.
Also, the world can be kind of a dark place. Church should be like a glimpse of heaven, rest for your soul, refuge. One of my favorite sayings is, “Jesus didn’t die just to get you into heaven, He died to get a bit of heaven into you.” Let Him get a bit of heaven into you. Then be His hands and feet in the world, His words and His grace.
I am laughing here, somebody wrote a strident article about how pastors must be above reproach, perfect vessels, no cracked pots allowed, and I thought seriously?! Because the cracks are where the Lord gets in! For at least the first 30 yrs of my life, I had to always follow the wounded guy fleeing his whole ministry, all beat up, dragging his leg down the street, the one who couldn’t even stand anymore but was still going, Praise the Lord, God is good.
Chewed up and spit out, tossed in the fire, cast aside, because if you’ve actually been there yourself, then you probably know my Jesus very well….
True story. Some part of my soul could really only trust the wisdom and faith of those who clearly understood what the world was like, what people were like, and what our Lord and Savior has endured in the process of trying to love us.
Our faith is actually not a public relations campaign nor is it performance art, nor is it a political campaign nor a great debate. It’s the heart, the soul, and the Body of Jesus Christ out in the world, and sometimes He really knows how to speak to us from some unlikely places.
So, everyday of the year should be pastor appreciation day, but at least for a few days in October, try to imagine that sign hanging in your church, the one that says, Welcome. How can you make our staff feel appreciated today?