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Remember to appreciate your pastor for all that he has done for you

October is National Clergy Appreciation Month.

Most people don’t understand that being a pastor is one of the hardest jobs in the world.

In addition to fighting battles with the Devil and tending to his/her own family, a pastor also has to deal with unrealistic expectations of church members and criticism… all while keeping a smile on their face.

Richard DeHaan explains it this way: “If the pastor is young, they say he lacks experience; if his hair is gray, then he’s too old for the young people.

If he has five or six children, he has too many; if he has no children, then he’s setting a bad example.

If he preaches from notes, he has ‘canned’ sermons and is too dry; if his messages are extemporaneous, he is not deep.

If he is attentive to the poor people in the church, they claim he is playing to the grandstand; if he pays attention to the wealthy, he is trying to be an aristocrat.

If he uses too many illustrations, he neglects the Bible; if he doesn’t use enough illustrations, he isn’t clear.

If he condemns wrong, he’s cranky; if he doesn’t preach against sin, he’s a compromiser.

If he preaches the truth, he’s offensive; if he doesn’t preach the truth, then he’s a hypocrite.

If he preaches tithing, he’s a money-grabber; if he doesn’t preach scriptural giving, he is failing to develop his people.

If he drives an old car, he shames his congregation; if he drives a new car, then he is setting his affection on earthly things.

If he preaches all the time, the people get tired of hearing one man; if he invites guest speakers, he’s shirking his responsibility.

If he receives a large salary, he’s a mercenary; if he receives only a small salary, well—it proves he isn’t worth much anyway.”

With all of the undue criticism that clergy face one might ask: why do they do it?

Because they love God and He loves people—even the critical ones.

So, with that being said, I want to wish all my brothers and sisters in the ministry a blessed Clergy Appreciation Month!

And to all the church members across the nation: be patient with your pastors—they’re praying for you, after all.

 

Rev. Doug Johnson is the senior pastor at Raven Assembly of God in Raven, Virginia.