I often say my hubby and I have the best jobs in the world. God appointed us to serve Him, and we lead the greatest body of believers. We get a front row seat for all the things that God is doing around here, and we get to hear all the behind-the-scenes stories of life change. We receive emails and letters from people sharing how God has healed or rescued them. Amazing stuff, I’m telling you. We also get to link arms with a Ministry Team and volunteers who are just as passionate about reaching our community with the message of Christ.
I would be remiss, however, if I didn’t share with you that life in ministry isn’t all goosebumps and happiness. Bearing the burdens of our people often wears on our emotions. Dealing with conflict isn’t something we wake up in the morning looking forward to. Being peace-makers is rarely easy. Watching people turn away from God feels like a personal rejection. Leading a church – with all of its financial and managerial demands – can sometimes leave us feeling completely inadequate for the task. “Preaching to a parade” of people who come and go quickly through our lives and our church can sometimes make us feel lonely. (Thanks, Rick Warren, for coining that very insightful phrase to describe what many in ministry experience.) And, if I’m being really honest, friendships don’t come easy in this position. Sometimes I have friends because I’m the pastor’s wife; other times I lose friends because I’m the pastor’s wife. (Hey, we can’t please everyone all the time…..that’s not our goal.)
That’s why the month of October was so special to my hubby and me. It was Pastor Appreciation Month, and while we certainly didn’t advertise that info, many of our sweet church members went out of their way to lavish us with words of encouragement and gifts. Our Ministry Team surprised us with an ah-mazing gift and treats for our whole family…..because ALL of the Lovejoy’s serve here, not just my husband and me. We felt so loved and honored and yes, appreciated!
Now, as I gaze at flowers in my home or at the cards on my table, I’m reminded that people care. That what I do matters to others. That others are appreciative of the work that my family does. Feels good. And, it motivates me to keep fighting the good fight.
We all need that kind of motivation, don’t we? Who among us doesn’t crave love and appreciation? Who could you say thank you to today? Go ahead…..help them feel the love.