Pastor Appreciation


Pastors who do their work well should be paid well and should be highly appreciated, especially those who work hard at both preaching and teaching.

~I Timothy 5:7, LNT


Correction does much but encouragement does more.

~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

One of the great things about retirement is that I am free to say things I would not say before; especially on the matter of appreciating your pastor. No one can accuse me of a vain motive because I am not anyone’s pastor, at least, not officially. Actually, I feel very appreciated at the moment but I can remember times when I didn’t feel so loved. My daddy finished concrete and that is about as hard as work can get. Farming was hard work at one time but modern machinery has made farming much easier. Seth’s crew {Lineman} work pretty hard and so do those in the construction industry. There are probably some plant jobs that are also pretty tough. So, I am not saying that a pastor’s work is that hard physically but it is demanding and can be very stressful. Unlike a job at a plant, a pastor cannot clock out. He is on call 24/7/365 and if you don’t believe that, check with Big Mama. Preaching and teaching are fun and I admit that preparing to preach and teach is enjoyable for me but pleasing people is impossible and their expectations for you are off the chart. A pastor would have to be superman to fulfill many members expectations of him. The odd thing is: the ones you do the most for, appreciate you the least.

Besides all this there is the indifference to the messages we preach. I can’t remember the last time anyone came up to me and engaged me in a conversation about a message I preached. You may think they are getting it all and there is no need for questions or conversations about the word of God. I would beg to differ: I have preached certain doctrines for years and yet folks who have heard me preach hundreds of messages don’t have a clue. Ron Dunn was a great preacher. I heard him say that a man came up to him after a service and said, “Preacher, did you know that we have 350 lights in our sanctuary.” While Ron was preaching, he was counting light bulbs. A pastor friend of mine told me that a man came forward during the invitation and said to him, “Who proofs our bulletin, I found four mistakes.” Wow, what an encouragement.

In my college pastorate, an older man walked out the church one Sunday morning and told me on the parking lot, “Preacher, God convicted me of a sin while you were preaching today and I repented of that sin. I want you to know that God used you to help me understand something today that I had not understood before.” That was 48 years ago and it has never happened again. Whereas the work of a pastor is not necessily a physical strain, it is an emotional strain that can wear a person out physically. Yet the biggest problem among ministers is discouragement and the lack of appreciation. I came across these statistics on the internet:

  • 97% of pastors have been betrayed, falsely accused or slandered.
  • 94% of the families of pastors feel the pressure and stress of their/husband/father’s job.
  • 78% of pastors have no close friends, no one who they can really trust.
  • 70% suffer from some form of depression.
  • The average pastor works from 55-75 hours per week

I had a conversation with Dr. Ward a couple of years ago. He and I have had several stirring conversations. I told him the truth: “Doc, I admit that you work more hours than I do but there is one huge difference. When you take off, you are off and it is not that way with me. Besides, when you take off you have the money to go anywhere you want and I don’t.” The one thing June is never going to forgive me for is not taking vacations. What was I going to take them on? My winsome charm and handsome looks? Yeah, right!

Fifteen Things You Can Do To Appreciate Your Pastor

1. Pray for your pastor.
2. Give specific feedback after sermons.
3. Send a gift card for a meal.
4. Begin tithing or increase your giving.
5. Offer to help out with some specific task at church.
6. Send an encouraging email.
7. Invite someone to church and let your pastor know.
8. Let your pastor know when you won’t be there.
9. Challenge your pastor to take time off.
10. Speak highly of your church and pastor.
11. Invite your pastor for lunch or dinner.
12. Volunteer for a role at church.
13. Send your pastor a card.
14. Give your pastor a book (as a gift, don’t necessarily expect them to read it immediately).
15. Be faithful in your attendance. {I would have put this one first}

  • They keep putting the rain off but at least we have some clouds today. We live in confident hope.
  • My cousin Karen got moved to Health South in Huntsville yesterday and our friend Jason from Grace Point is in the same facility. Karen is making steady improvement. Jason is a young man who suffered a stroke but he is on the way to recovery also.

From The L.A. Times

A very self-important college freshman attending a recent football game took it upon himself to explain to a senior citizen sitting next to him why it was impossible for the older generation to understand his generation. ‘You grew up in a different world, actually an almost primitive one,’ the student said, loud enough for many of those nearby to hear. ‘The young people of today are much more advanced than people your age. We grew up with television, jet planes, space travel, man walking on the moon and the internet. We have cell phones, nuclear energy, electric and hydrogen cars, computers, automated manufacturing, amazing. technologies, ...and,’pausing to to check an incoming message on his I-Phone…

The senior took advantage of the break in the student’s litany and said, ‘You’re right, son. We didn’t have those things when we were young…so we invented them. Now, you arrogant little worm, what are YOU doing for the next generation?’



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