The View from the Other Half: Pastor Appreciation

{team woodruff}

Pastor Appreciation Month

So, I know we are out a month from October, which many of you have celebrated Pastor Appreciation Month. My original blog was written back in September, but I never posted it. Actually, I thought of deleting it…but here we are. Even though the month has past I will share what the Lord is doing within my heart…

  • I grew up in a very large church.
  • I grew up in a healthy church.
  • I grew up with many wonderful pastors and pastor’s wives.
  • I grew up attending awesome youth groups, camps, and missions trips.
  • I grew up in a family that taught us to respect, honor, celebrate and give thanks for and to our pastors. 
  • I grew up loving, adoring, and wanting to be “just like them” (my pastor’s wives) when I grew up. They profoundly impacted my life for eternity – it is because of them and the working of Christ in my life that I find myself where I am today, serving alongside my husband/pastor.

Being in the ministry for all most two decades now, I still find myself struggling with the month of October — Pastor Appreciation Month. 

I have seen and experienced healthy churches; I have seen and experienced unhealthy churches. In every one I have had the same struggle.

My upbringing, my heart, my love, my God-given duty towards my pastor(s) drives me to want to shout, herald, celebrate — literally from the rooftops and I want everyone else to do the same.

But I can’t — people, the struggle is real! I feel awkward because well, I’m his wife. I am driven by God to support, cheer him on, love and follow his leadership at home and church. I praise him in front of others (he never asks for it) and at home, but this month leaves me with what to do.

  • I don’t want others to think that I am tooting my own horn. 
  • I don’t want others to surmise that I am somehow purposefully conniving to make something happen.
  • I don’t want selfish promotion.

Scripture is clear. Scripture in living. Scripture is real. We are to love our pastor and not muzzle the ox (1 Timothy 5:18; Hebrews 13:17; 1 Timothy 5:8; 1 Corinthians 9:11).

My husband is my husband, but he is also my pastor! I am growing under his godly leadership/shepherding. I love my pastor!

Healthy churches get it (praise God!). Unhealthy churches, if they remain unteachable, they don’t and therefore miss out on God’s blessings for them as a whole (a body of believers).

  • It is hard things to see, yet alone experience, when a body of believers do not want to walk according to Scripture. When they reject the Word and promote such living (yes, there are churches out there like this).
  • It is hard to live within a body of believers who do not want to see the spiritual gem they have been given by God for them (even though they voted for him).

I pondered these things. I have wondered over the years of ministry what God thinks. How it must break His heart when His love for them is so great. Some years, Pastor Appreciation Day has left me questioning what to say or how to respond. It has left me lacking for words (in joy and thanksgiving) and bewildered in sorrow, grieving in silence (I have learned to literally bite my tongue because my flesh is weak and I want to please God). 2020 was been no different. It came once again…  

But this year, something hit me:

Like I said, while growing up our pastors were celebrated — publicly and privately. We gave thanks, showed that thanks and simply it was a blessing. We loved showering them with gifts, money, love, surprises and we enjoyed every minutes of it. It was (is) good to be thankful and rejoice in God’s gift to us. It was good for our pastor(s) to know they were loved, cherished, and thankful for…they need encouragement too. Over the years we found was to be creative but the heart attitude and choice was rooted in Scripture, love and thanks. We also celebrated their anniversaries (wedding and the date/month our senior pastor became our pastor) plus their birthday. It was our highlight as a body of believers.

BUT what struck my heart most this year was this:

  • I’ve been blessed. Truly blessed!
  • I know what it is like to have such a blessings — a pastor and his wife (a godly team) — and reap those benefits.
  • I know that kind of blessing — not everyone does.
  • I’ve been given a gift to share, to tell, to show, to teach, that is biblical, godly, and right.
  • How can I keep it to myself? 

I am nothing special in and of myself, but I have been given this gift of experience, knowing what it is like to “appreciate” your pastor. Today, I am on the other side of that gift…I’m the other half.

The question I have found myself asking is:

“How can I not share?” How can I keep this to myself?” How can I help others grow in Christ, love the brethren so that we can rejoice TOGETHER in the gift God has given to us called “Pastor and Mrs. Pastor, his family” (because they are a team).”

God has given me fantastic preachers in my lifetime and today I celebrate the one the Lord has given to me and to us as a church – today and in the tomorrows to come!

Thank you, Lord for the gift of my pastor. May I be a blessing to him today and throughout this coming new year.

Sincerely, his wife 

In Christ I am SHE {Saved. Hopeful. Empowered}

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