October has become Pastor’s Appreciation Month. I read in the Illinois Baptist Newspaper that this is actually quite a recent development. I can’t remember all of the details, but I think a church in the 80’s or 90’s began the movement by showing special appreciation to their own pastor in the month of October. The idea spread to other churches and eventually Focus on the Family encouraged churches to observe October as Pastor Appreciation Month on its radio station in 1994.
Maybe it’s just because I’m still in my “honeymoon” (I’ve been at Grace Baptist a little over a year now), but I feel very appreciated. The first Sunday of October, the church showered me with thank you cards (one of of them even had money in it!). The third Sunday they will present me with a gift tree, which last year held a few handfuls of cash, a few gift cards, and some candy that I like. The fifth Sunday we’re going to have an ice cream social (because they found out I LOVE ice cream). And from what it sounds like, they do these kinds of things every year!
Additionally, throughout the year there is always a small stack of papers on the table in the foyer that people can pick up which outlines how the church can pray for me and my family throughout the year. I’m constantly told how much of a blessing I am and how much they love me.
I really don’t think I deserve all this. I’m just so grateful for a loving church family who accepts me despite my imperfections, and is willing to listen to and follow the whims of some young crazy city boy as I seek to follow the direction of God.