I am a contributing writer for Flourish.me, a website for pastors’ wives and women in ministry. The following is a post I wrote for Flourish, but I think it applies to everyone…not just those of us in ministry! We all benefit from encouragement and appreciation. Check it out and consider who might show some love to….
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 in our church, 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. 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. Amazing stuff, I’m telling you.
I would be remiss, however, if I didn’t confess that life in ministry isn’t all goosebumps and happiness. Bearing the burdens of our people often wears on my emotions. Dealing with conflict isn’t something I wake up in the morning looking forward to; being a peacemaker 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 my husband and I 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. 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.
That’s why the month of October is special to my hubby and me. It is Pastor Appreciation Month, and while we certainly don’t advertise that info, some of our sweet church members go out of their way to lavish us with words of encouragement and gifts. In years past, we have felt so loved and honored and yes, appreciated! I’m reminded that people care. That what my family does matters to others. That others are appreciative of the work that we do. Feels good. And it motivates me to keep fighting the good fight. (1 Tim 6:12 Fight the good fight for the true faith. Hold tightly to the eternal life to which God has called you, which you have confessed so well before many witnesses.)
We all need that kind of motivation, don’t we? Who among us doesn’t crave love and appreciation? So let’s kickstart the month of appreciation with some kind words or thoughtful gifts for someone else who serves in ministry: your ministry team, a fellow pastor’s wife, a mentor, or a few of your dedicated church volunteers.
I’ll go first. Kathy Litton, our wonderful leader here at Flourish, works tirelessly to create a wonderfully encouraging online environment for us. She speaks to pastors’ wives across our nation, investing her wisdom and experience into their journeys. Her texts make me laugh, and I value the person she is. Kathy, YOU are loved.
Who could you say thank you to today? Go ahead…..help them feel the love.