eCare - Pastor Appreciation

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eCare - Pastor Appreciation

And now, friends, we ask you to honor those leaders who work so hard for you, who have been given the responsibility of urging and guiding you along in your obedience. Overwhelm them with appreciation and love!

I Thessalonians 5. 12, 13 The Message

Dear Friends in Christ,

As early as the first century the Apostle Paul established Pastor Appreciation Month through his letter to the church at Thessalonica. It took 20th century American Christian radio and evangelical Protestant consumerism to turn it into a b-level commemoration practiced by few churches but appreciated by all who are the objects of this annual expression of thanks.

I want to express appreciation for my pastor; it’s something I don’t do often enough and that oversight won’t be corrected or atoned for by the few lines that follow. Nevertheless, here is why I appreciate my pastor, Pastor Devlin:

  1. I appreciate Pastor Nate, first and foremost, because of His love for the Lord. In all he does as my pastor he demonstrates a love for our Savior and a desire to be the man and the pastor that God desires him to be. Nate is who he is because of Jesus Christ; Nate knows it and he loves the Lord because of it. This is a challenge and an example for me.
  2. I appreciate Pastor Nate because of his desire for God’s glory. I believe, per the Westminster Catechism, that “man’s chief end is to glorify and to enjoy Him forever.” Everything to which Nate gives his hand is designed to bring glory to God Who is worthy of our praise. This is also a challenge and an example for me.
  3. I appreciate Pastor Nate because, as my leader in worship, he takes such great care to prepare the New Worship service so that it will help me to honor and glorify God. Nate sweats all the details of song selection, unison and responsive congregational participation – the whole nine yards and I am better cared for by him because he does.
  4. I appreciate Pastor Nate because of his love for the Word of God. So often I walk up to Nate’s study door and just as I am about to knock I peer through the window and see him pouring over the scriptures. I appreciate his attention to the reading and studying of the Word and particularly the care he takes and the effort he makes in preparing sermons that inform, inspire, encourage and challenge me.
  5. I appreciate Pastor Nate because at the top of his list of priorities is his longing that I and the rest of our congregation grow in faithfulness and obedience to our Lord. That Christ be formed in us, that our lives (as he likes to say) be “cruciformed” is how Nate shows his pastoral love and care for me and I appreciate that.
  6. I appreciate Pastor Nate for his love of ideas. I’d venture to say that this is a characteristic least appreciated by others but I love him for being a man of ideas. I, too, like ideas; I like to think ideas and talk ideas and develop ideas. It’s not everyone’s top characteristic for a pastor but I appreciate our conversations about ideas…it’s a way I connect with my pastor and the way the Lord shares with me His thoughts.
  7. I appreciate Pastor Nate as a colleague. Nate is a good pastor to me because he knows me and honors me and he is a tremendous help to me. “Is there anything I can do to help you, Captain?” is a question that is on Nate’s lips daily. I cannot express how I appreciate him as a comrade in ministry and I count it a real privilege to work with him. Without him I couldn’t do what have to do, nor would I want to.
  8. I appreciate Pastor Nate because of his commitment to our pastoral leadership team. Nate is a pastor with many good ideas and a huge bag of personal gifts and capabilities and it would be easy for him to do most things on his own. But Nate is a team player who loves each member of the team and values the contributions that each one makes and I appreciate that.
  9. I appreciate Pastor Nate because of his commitment to the congregation. Nate’s great desire is for Beverly Heights to grow and to thrive as a body of believers who worship the Lord and serve Him and the advancement of His kingdom. Let it be said that Nate has had and will continue to have many opportunities to serve the Lord in other parts of His vineyard. I know for a fact that other churches have asked him to consider becoming their pastor and I am often contacted by people whose attention has been drawn to Nate. But Nate has declined all offers out of an absence of call away from Beverly Heights and an absence of a call to another place. Some may see this as a lack of initiative or lack of leadership fire or as any number of other negative character traits. To do so would be an uninformed and a mistaken read on Nate. Nate is here and continues to be here because of His call from the Lord and his commitment to the thriving of Beverly Heights Church, plain and simple. There may be those who think he should step up onto the next rung of the career ladder. Nate’s question is “Where does the Lord want me to be?”
  10. I appreciate Pastor Nate because of his commitment to me. At the end of the day I am one of the sheep of his flock. He knows me, loves me, cares for me, has only my best in his mind and he regularly tells me and shows me and I appreciate that.
I wanted to send Nate a Pastor’s Appreciation card that would say all of these things. Alas…one could not be found. So, here is my card and I am pleased to be able to share my appreciation for my pastor and I hope many of you will join me in doing so, too.

Faithfully in Him,
Rick