A mother knocked on her son’s door one Sunday morning and said, “Get up, honey, it’s time to get ready for church.” The boy responded, “Oh, mother, I don’t want to go to church today. Just let me sleep.”
The mother replied, “I don’t care what you want. Get yourself out of bed, get dressed, and get down to church.” He responded, “Mother, I don’t want to go! Those people down there don’t like me, and I don’t like them. Just the other day I was walking down the hall and around the corner I heard some people talking about me. And, Mother, they were saying some awful things. Don’t make me go.”
The mother responded, “I don’t care about all that. You get yourself up. You’re going.” The boy responded, “Why, Mother? Why?”
And she said, “For two reasons. First, because you’re forty-five years old. And, second, because you’re the pastor and they’re expecting you down there.”*
Sooner or later, everyone feels a little under-appreciated. This is true for lay people; and it is also true for ministers. For my part, I am thankful to have been called to serve First Baptist church of Lenoir City some eleven and a half years ago. In all that time, I have never been made to feel unappreciated. The good people of this church family certainly know how to shoe love and gratitude to all of their pastors. And for that, I am extremely thankful.
Unfortunately, this is not the case in every church. There are plenty of pastors out there who do feel unappreciated. The record speaks for itself. The current average tenure of a pastor in a Southern Baptist church is only 36 months. The same is pretty much true of other evangelical denominations as well.
And, as I shared in my message his past Sunday morning, statistics indicate that only one out of every ten who enter full-time vocational ministry at the age of 21 will still be there at age 65. Sadly, that is a 90% attrition rate!
I do not say this just because I am a Minister of the Gospel. I say this because it is the right thing to say. This is "Pastor Appreciation Month". So, whoever you are, wherever you are, please take time and find a way to say or else show appreciation to your minister. An ounce of encouragement can be worth a pound of consolation.