I am so glad you gave
Even though we take any opportunity to let our pastors and ministers know how much they are appreciated on a regular basis, October is Pastor Appreciation Month. Here at the Enquirer we set aside space in the newspaper for area congregations to publically thank their church leaders. While reading the information passed along this week, it is evident that the ministers here in Hartselle and the surrounding area are loved by their congregations.
Appreciation, thanks and honor are many of the words used in the individual responses to local pastors. Faithful, loving, comforting, sacrificial, leader, compassionate and caring are words used to describe our church leaders. God’s called servants are special and deserve to be recognized for the work they do in His kingdom.
I have been blessed to have known pastors from several denominations. During my adult life, I have also had the privilege to call several of them friends. No matter the denomination in which they chose to work out their faith, one thread was woven through each one: the love of God and their desire to move the congregation from within the church walls out into the world. Of course staying inside and taking care of a congregation would be easier, but they would not be helping to fulfill the Great Commission Jesus gave to make disciples of all men.
The many responsibilities of leading a congregation weigh heavily on ministers. They are called on in good times and bad, from the highs of highs to the lowest of lows. They are invited or expected to be available at times of birth and death. Very few are able to stand beside others in such varying circumstances of life from the most joyous to the most heartbreaking and be able to offer whatever support is needed at the time.
These called men of God make a huge difference in the lives of their congregations. We look to them as leaders, to guide our spiritual lives and to interpret the word of God to us. One mistake we make as congregations is to forget that they are also human. They have feelings, problems, worries and trials just like the rest of us. However, they have to stay strong and not appear to have weaknesses. Lift up your pastor in prayer not only as the leader of your congregation, but also as a fellow traveler.
Thank you for answering the call and for your service, you are well worthy of honor.
Randy Garrison is the president and publisher of the Hartselle Enquirer.