Pastor Appreciation

by Pastor Dan
There is a current study that says more than half of pastors are thinking of getting out of the ministry.  If the truth were told, I would likely be in that category as well.  
Jesus had a very important conversation with God prior to His crucifixion that sheds some light on why this happens.  Jesus said the disciples were hated because of the truth, just as He was hated because of the truth.  Jesus goes on to ask God not to remove them from the world but to keep them from the evil one and to purify them through the word of God to stand on the truth.  This conversation happened because Jesus already knew that during His death, they all would run and even deny Him.  Jesus’ death and resurrection paved the way for forgiveness and restoration and readied them for receiving the Holy Spirit so they could stand for truth.
As you read this article, you may already know all of this; however, do we really know what our pastors struggle with and for?  There are two reasons why I am still serving as a pastor today.  One, I have come to understand that it is not a position; it is a provision.  Even if I did not serve in a position at a local Church, God called me to administer His love to anyone who will listen (and even those who don’t) no matter where I go and what I am doing.  My strength and call are from God, not from man.  Secondly, life as a pastor is one of constant longing and growth in the word of God alongside others.  When I counsel, preach, and just live life alongside others, they challenge my Spiritual growth just as much as I change their Spiritual growth.  My worries, fears, and concerns are shared with them and theirs with me, and through prayer, study, and growth, we overcome the challenges called life.
Why did I say all of this?  October is Pastor Appreciation Month.  I want to thank all the pastors that give of their time, talent, and treasure to seek and share the truth of God’s word every day, many times without thought of their own needs.  Your dedication and service for God’s Kingdom purpose does not go unnoticed by some of us, and certainly it is noticed by God.
If you are struggling as a pastor, I would like to encourage you to find help and encouragement from someone you can trust.  You are not alone in this struggle.  Please do not isolate yourself.  We at New Life of Currituck are in the process of releasing videos for the 10 Signs of Depression that can lead to suicide with practical and relational help to stay in relationship with those who care for you.
I would like to speak to the leadership teams and congregations and encourage them to support and encourage their pastors.  In 2 Peter 3, Peter has a question we all need to ask ourselves: “What sort of people ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness?”  If I may end this article leaving you with Peter’s words at the end of that chapter:  “But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  To Him be the glory, both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.”  2 Peter 3:18