Have you thanked your Pastor?

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October is Pastor Appreciation month! Have you shown your Pastor the appreciation they deserve?There is so much more to be being a Pastor than most of the congregation understands, which is primarily because most people only think about the Pastor one day a week, unless there is a wedding, funeral or illness.  If you ask many people how many days a week they believe their pastor to work, they’d say one or two. Again, a misunderstanding on the life of a Pastor.

I have the advantage of knowing Pastor’s from all across the globe. There is certainly a difference in how the ministry is approached dependent upon the region the Pastor lives in. America is a blessed Nation, but even here geographical location matte rs. My Pastor moved from a larger city in Florida to very, very rural West Virginia. His prior location had more people in one city than we have in our entire county. Our population is less than 7000 and it’s scattered throughout paved and unpaved roads. My friend Dewey who lives in the vastly populated city of Albuquerque, New Mexico, traveled four hours on a Sunday morning to get to a church in a scarcely populated area. Four hours!!! What would cause a man to do that? A Pastor’s heart.

In the King Jams version of the Bible I looked up the word “pastor” for relevant texts to begin my journey into today’s post.

The word “Pastor” is only mentioned nine times throughout the entire bible. (Yes there are other variations, but the title Pastor only nine times) and eight of those were in the book of Jeremiah. Six of those eight verses are not in a favorable light! The final verse is Ephesians 4:11

Ephesians 4:11 KJVS

[11] And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;

With the charge to follow in verse 12

Ephesians 4:12 KJVS

[12] For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:

Perfecting doesn’t mean to make us perfect without sin, but rather equipping us with what we need to continue on in this world. That doesn’t sound like a part time job to me! Not in the world we live in. God didn’t just give Pastor’s that responsibility, He added ministers of the gospel to the work as well and all to feed the body of Christ. A call to my own life through Pastor’s who rightly divide the word of God.

Yesterday afternoon I went to the Nursing Home to minister in song to the residents. Because of Covid I’m no longer allowed to interact with the residents. I walk through a back entrance into the hallway of the unit and sit in a chair with a microphone that is tapped into headsets on the long term care as they sit in their rooms. It’s not ideal for me, but at least I’m there. As I sang a little lady popped her head out of her room which was on my end of the hall. She whispered, “can I set with you?” I motioned to a chair sitting across the hall from me and told her I wouldn’t tell if she wouldn’t. I had forgotten my usual repertoire of songs, so I had borrowed their “heavenly highway hymn” book and was content to sing from it. She sang every tune with me and tapped her little foot and it was such joy to be apart of her day if only for a few minutes. I’m not a Pastor, but I am a minister and privileged to be so.

When a Pastor “perfects” the body of Christ, he’s equipping them to go out and minister the gospel as well.

The problem Jeremiah had in his day, is the same problem we have in churches across the country today. Jeremiah gave warning in Jeremiah 23:2 KJVS

[2] Therefore thus saith the Lord God of Israel against the pastors that feed my people; Ye have scattered my flock, and driven them away, and have not visited them: behold, I will visit upon you the evil of your doings, saith the Lord.

There’s plenty of fault to go around both from lazy congregations and lazy pastors as to why the church hasn’t kept the true calling as Paul described in Ephesians. I’m not pointing fingers (today anyway) I’m just throwing this thought out in hopes of dinging a few church bells. We need to thank our Pastor’s and Praise God for those who work in the labor of the Lord. Who understand the accountability for souls and take it serious. We need to encourage each other to share the work load… and it is a load of work!

Every day is another opportunity to examine our lives and see what we can do to improve our relationship with the Lord. Today, we can start by taking a few minutes to thank the preacher. Get the love train going for our church leaders!!!

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