• Ashish Roy

Pastor’s Appreciation

I am pretty sure you’ve heard of Billy Graham but have ever heard of Chuck Templeton or Bron Clifford? Maybe you have not.

1945 was an absolutely unbelievable year for rookie evangelists. In that year, 27 years old Billy Graham came storming out of seemingly nowhere to fill the auditoriums across America, speaking to as many as thirty thousand people a night. Billy Graham wasn’t the only young preacher packing auditoriums that year. Chuck Templeton and Bron Clifford were accomplishing the same thing and more. One seminary president, after hearing Templeton preach, called him “the most gifted and talented young man in America today for preaching.”

Bron Clifford was yet another gifted young preacher. Many believed Clifford was the most gifted and powerful preacher the church had seen in centuries. Later that year, when Clifford was preaching in the chapel at Baylor University, the president ordered class bells turned off. For two hours and fifteen minutes, he kept those students on the edge of their seats.

Graham, Templeton, and Clifford.

In 1945, all three came shooting out of the starting blocks like rockets.

Just five years later, Templeton left the ministry to pursue a career as a radio and television commentator and newspaper columnist. By 1950, he no longer believed in the validity of the claims of Jesus Christ.

By 1954, Clifford had lost his family, his ministry, his health, and then…his life. Alcohol and financial irresponsibility had done him in. He wound up leaving his wife and their two down syndrome children. At just thirty-five years of age, this once-great preacher died from cirrhosis of the liver in a run-down motel on the edge of Amarillo. He died, as John Haggai put it, “unwept, unhonoured, and unsung.”

In 1945, three young men with extraordinary gifts were preaching the gospel to multiplied thousands across this nation. Within ten years, only one of them was still on track for Christ. (Source: Finishing Strong by Steve Farrar)

I may be very late in writing about this topic but here it is.

The month of October is celebrated as the Pastor’s Appreciation Month. And how important it is for us to appreciate our pastors. Showing appreciation to our pastor is a good thing. He needs to be appreciated, and what’s more, he needs to know he is appreciated.

Appreciation for our pastor should be expressed or it will be hard for him to know if you really have good feelings for him or not. October is as good a month to shower love on your pastor but it shouldn’t just be limited to one month only.

The Bible teaches us to appreciate our pastors. (Now we ask you, brothers and sisters, to acknowledge those who work hard among you, who care for you in the Lord and who admonish you. Hold them in the highest regard in love because of their work. Live in peace with each other. 1 Thessalonians 5:12-13)

Pastor is a shepherd and in the Spanish language, I believe they have done justice to the word. The word for the shepherd in Spanish is literally Pastor (although pronounced differently). And being a pastor is not an easy task. In the book of James, there it tells us to not be eager to become a teacher in the church because us who are preaches will be judged to a higher standard. I don’t get this why so many people want to become a pastor just because they know some things theologically and got a BTh degree.

Being a pastor or preacher is a higher calling that comes from God himself, it is not for everyone, as we have seen from the above story. The Bible tells us that there are some qualifications for one to be a pastor. It is not some fancy title to add before your name. This title has a great weight in it. We have heard that with great power comes great responsibility. In the same way, with great titles comes great responsibility. A Pastor is not like working on Sunday only but it is a 24/7 job. Pastors are not only shepherds who teach the word of God, show the love of God, and lead the people of God on earth. In Austin Duncan's words, “Pastors are also a sheepdog.” Because they not only lead the flock but also protect them from the false doctrines and teachers that have gone out into the world.

Pastors should be held “in the highest regard.” In fact, a good teaching pastor is “worthy of double honor” according to 1 Timothy 5:17.

There are many ways through which you can show your appreciation to your pastor. A simple word of encouragement, verbal or written is always nice. And there are many more ways, you can think of better ones. But most importantly by prayer, remembering not just them but their family too. And it is not just about pastors only, it is also about their families, especially their wives. A pastor can't focus wholly on ministry if their wife is not taking care of everything at home. It becomes the job of the wife to look after the children and everything else at home when he’s gone for the gospel proclamation. And not just that but also to stand with him in difficult times. She may not be holding any office but she is worthy of appreciation too.

How much you respect your shepherd here shows, how much you respect the Ultimate Shepherd.

Probably the best way to show appreciation to your pastor is to follow his instructions to follow Jesus. (I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth. 3 John 1:4). Nothing will make your pastor happier than for you to “grow in grace and knowledge of our Lord & Savior Jesus Christ.” (2 Peter 3:18)

And if you really, really, really wanna make your pastor immensely happier, don’t fall asleep during the sermon. I mean it gives real happiness to a preacher when the congregation attentively listens.

I myself am a pastor’s son and grew up in a pastoral household. Many times my father used examples of me and our family in his sermon, so you can trust me with all this.

I’m 19 years old now and for all these years, I have never seen my father not praying for all the church members by name, not remembering any of them during our family prayers.

Even there were some times when he literally cried for the people. A real pastor cares for and leads the sheep he was given faithfully.

Your pastor needs your encouragement, show some appreciation for him and his work. (Have confidence in your leaders and submit to their authority, because they keep watch over you as those who must give an account. Do this so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no benefit to you.

Hebrews 13:17)

Your pastor watches out for you and your spiritual being. He cries tears for you. Are you making his job a “burden” or a “joy”?

Give him some joy today, and send some appreciation his way.

Pray that he never loses hope.

Pray that he stays faithful.

Pray that God provides all his needs according to His riches.

Pray that God takes care of his well-being and family.

Pray that God gives him the strength to overcome temptations.

Pray that God gives him the strength to stand for the truth when everyone else is not.

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