Practice What You Preach

As you are probably aware, October is National Pastor Appreciation Month. Being raised as a pastor’s child it was very difficult to appreciate the pastor when he was a resident of my own home. Seeing your pastor once a week leaves room for the old saying, “Absence makes the heart grow fonder”. Living with a preacher was a whole different story. It’s a good story but it’s a different story.

Many people do not get to see the behind the scenes work that pastors do and the amount of studying and preparation that goes into a Sunday message or just merely opening the doors for a church service. The pastor is the first one to church in the mornings and the last to leave. Their children and spouses have a front row seat to all of these festivities. Tending to the flock is a full time job and sometimes it takes the pastor’s wife and children to work as a team to ensure that everything is taken care of.

Pastors are known for inviting random people over for Sunday lunch in a moments notice. Their family must be prepared for this. They are known for leaving in the middle of meals because someone is in need. Their family must be prepared for this. They are known to travel across the country to perform a wedding or a funeral. Their family must be prepared for this. Sometimes they even have the tough jobs of delivering bad news to unsuspecting people or their own church family.

No one is prepared for this.

One of the heaviest burdens to bear as a pastor is that they must perform all of these duties without showing the slightest bit of wavering faith. After all, they are our spiritual heroes and always have the right words to share. If the pastor has a bad day or not feeling his best, the whole flock will be able to tell it.

It reminds me of a turbulent flight. If the flight attendants are worried then the passengers are equally worried. Same thing with a church, if the pastor loses his faith then the flock will follow.

Sometimes what preachers don’t talk about is the need to be tended to as well. Please don’t confuse this as a paid advertisement from local preachers. But in some respects it could be read as a reminder that pastors need prayer and encouragement as well. Pastors constantly pour from their cup and often need it filled again. Pastor-fatigue is a real thing and it is easily cured with support and constant prayer from the church family.

It’s an incredibly easy task to sit on a pew and judge every word, every movement, every mispronunciation of a word or missed scripture when you aren’t the one standing behind the pulpit after having prepared all week for the perfect message to deliver to the flock.

I am probably preaching to the choir but I sincerely pray you spent October appreciating your pastor and all of their hard work. If you haven’t, it’s not too late. If you feel so inclined, I am sure they would appreciate your prayers all year long and not just confine it to the fall season of the year.

“And I will you give you shepherds after my own heart, who will feed you with knowledge and understanding.”
Jeremiah 3:15

“And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers”
Ephesians 4:11

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