October 29, 2018
Dear Pastors and Church Members:
As I am sure you know (at least I hope you know), this month has been designated as Pastor Appreciation Month. I have been in many services through the years as churches have honored their pastor. I have been in one in recent years in which I was embarrassed and totally shocked at the pitiful (and pathetic) way a very good pastor and his family was “dis-honored.” I have been in many, many others, however, in which churches showed great love and great care to their Pastor and to his family. I salute every church who does so!
As an evangelist and as your friend, I wanted to tell you that I am very, very thankful for all of you brothers and friends who pastor the churches I am privileged to serve. More than a few of my closest friends are pastors. My livelihood as an evangelist means that I work with different pastors every week of my life and I count it a great privilege to do so! Thank you for loving God and loving souls and loving me. Thank you for treating my family graciously and kindly and for encouraging my children to love Jesus and the ministry. Thank you for believing in Ephesians 4 and in the gift of the Gospel-preaching and Gospel-promoting ministry of the Evangelist. Thank you for taking seriously the teaching that they which “preach the gospel should live of the Gospel.” Thank you for all of the ministry opportunities and for all of the fun talks and late nights and special events. Thank you for being my friend.
Thank you also for your labor in the kingdom of God. Warren Wiersbe tells the story of Sir Ernest Shackleton, the noted Antarctic Explorer, and his London newspaper advertisement: “Men wanted for hazardous journey, small wages, bitter cold, long months of complete darkness, constant danger, safe return doubtful. Honor and recognition in case of success.” Thousands of men responded! Pastor Wiersbe goes on to point out that the call to pastor could be just as shocking were it advertised: “Men . . . wanted for difficult task of helping to build My church. You will often be misunderstood, even by those working with you. You will face constant attack from an invisible enemy. You may not see the results of your labor, and your full reward will not come till after all your work is completed. It may cost you your home, your ambitions,— even your life” (Wiersbe, Be Faithful, p. 19). My dear brothers, thank you for responding to that call in your lives. Jesus is a wonderful Master and giving your life to help build His church is one of the greatest tasks to which you could dedicate your life. It is worth it and it will be worth it too!
Church members, thank you for graciously and sincerely honoring my pastor friends and their families. You may not always agree with him, but if you have a sincere and Godly pastor, treat him royally. Give him a raise if you can. Honor his wife and family. Encourage them. Pray for them. Partner with them to reach souls with the gospel. His task can be very difficult at times and very challenging. The enemy never stops fighting. Please do all you can to love your pastor and to honor him and treat him kindly and graciously.
Pastor friends, I love you and I pray for you regularly. May God bless you more than ever in the year ahead and may souls be saved and believers strengthened in the faith. And May God bless your marriages and families too. Don’t be weary in well-doing!
Your sincere friend,