I am attempting to write this letter as a neutral party. I am not writing as a Pastor's wife or as a church member. I am writing as an observer. Let me start by saying this letter is not directed at one church in particular but the American church collectively. So please, do not assume I am talking about you and become offended. But, if it applies feel free to be convicted unto repentance. I know I already have been just organizing my thoughts for this letter.
We are a church in crisis. Our families are hurting, our churches are hurting, and our Pastors are hurting. We have allowed our desire for things other than The Lord to creep in and steal our focus. We have chased the American Dream more than we follow our Savior. As a result, parents are busy working instead of investing in their children. Families are stealing Sundays from The Lord in an attempt to make up for lost time that went to employers. The church has become an optional social club for many believers. It is there to fit their needs and their schedule. This is not biblical.
The church is a God ordained institution designed for the edification of believers, sharing of the gospel, and caring for the needy and broken. It is not optional. But, we have made it such.
Many Pastors feel they have to beg their members to attend on a regular basis. They have to offer special activities and events to entice believers into worshipping and serving the God they declare to follow. They work tirelessly to pour into people and help them grow. Often, the response they receive is criticism.
Pastors do not need your criticism. They need your encouragement. They know they are not perfect. They are reminded of this daily by others, themselves, and Satan. Doubt, Depression, Bitterness, and Discouragement whisper in their ears taunting them and beckoning them to give up and give in. Ministry is a daily battle. We as believers should not become another combatant for our Pastors to face.
We need to lift them up in prayer, encourage them with our words and actions. We need to let them know we love them and support them. If we do have a grievance with a Pastor we should go to them! Talk to them... Not about them. It is biblical to go to the person who has offended you and talk it out. Work it out with them. The majority of Pastors care more about you and your spiritual growth than they do about being right or in control.
October is Pastor Appreciation Month. I believe most Pastors would agree that the best way to honor them this month is by committing to be a true disciple of Jesus Christ. ( that's not an excuse to be cheap! You still need to love on him and his family with words, kindness, and gifts) They pray that you not simply attend church and hear the Word of God, but they long for you to apply it to your life.
They have been called to a hard, demanding, often discouraging job. Encourage these men... For the harvest is plentiful, but the true laborers are few.