[x_custom_headline type=”left” level=”h4″ looks_like=”h4″]For many, many years churches have used the month of October as Pastor’s Appreciation month. And during that time, the members of each church are invited to participate in demonstrating their appreciation for their pastor with notes of gratitude, gifts of love, and so on.[/x_custom_headline]
However, in my years of ministry, I have noticed a pattern of depreciating the pastor throughout the year that appears to go unnoticed by many. And what I mean is that over time, individuals within a congregation can begin to demonstrate a lack of honor for their pastor that usually only deepens with time. But I hope you are like me, because I fully believe it is time to restore honor to the Church.
Look at this verse below, and there you will find an important phrase that will provide us with a clue in this area.
[x_blockquote cite=”Colossians 1:2 KJV” type=”left”]“To the saints and faithful brethren in Christ which are at Colosse: Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.”[/x_blockquote]
Notice carefully the phrase, “To the saints and faithful brethren.” Because here Paul is addressing the congregation in two categories: (1) The saints, and (2) the faithful brethren.
The saints are made up of those who are indeed born again, but who have not necessarily grown spiritually and have not necessarily become committed, faithful and loyal. Because some in the Colossian church were shaken in their allegiance to Christ, Paul differentiates between the saints and the “faithful brethren.”
[highlight]The faithful brethren are those believers within the congregation who are serving in God’s House, who have godly attitudes, and who demonstrate honor towards those God has placed as leaders in their lives. These are those believers who are walking and fully participating in their salvation.[/highlight]
We could safely refer to this group as the “sold out” believers who are living their lives red hot for God. And because these people in the Colossian church are truly committed to the Lord, and are not just nominal or so-called Christians, they honored and respected what the man of God had to say to them.
My point is, that if the Colossians had no honor, they would not respect what Paul wrote to them enough to even read his letter, and certainly not apply the instructions he provided to them within it. I think it is sad that some Christians today wouldn’t even open and read a letter or email written to them from their pastor, let alone apply any of it. Of course, they would claim they are too busy, which is the age-old and never ending excuse about everything. But what it really boils down to is a lack of respect and honor.
Most Christians have much more honor and respect for ministers who they don’t even know, who they have only seen on TV, or read one of their books, than they do for their own pastor, who will very soon give an accounting for their soul.
Noah Webster in his 1828 American Dictionary of the English Language defines “honor” as follows: to revere; to respect; to treat with deference and submission; a testimony of esteem; any expression of respect or of high estimation by words or actions.
Honor carries and is supported by the supernatural power of God. By showing honor, you are actually tapping into the strength and power of God for your life.
[highlight]I like something that my pastor, Dr. Mark T. Barclay states. He says, “If honor is in you, honor will come out.”[/highlight]
When people first begin attending a local church for example, they are often blessed and strengthened by the ministry of the pastor. They can’t wait for the next service, and seem to hang on every word he or she preaches. But then over time, the esteem begins to weaken as they begin to focus on the pastor’s personality or human frailties, instead of the gift of God which He has placed within them. Ah, but there is a verse for that!
[x_blockquote cite=”2 Corinthians 4:7 KJV” type=”left”]“But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.”[/x_blockquote]
The Gift, the Calling, and the Anointing are all inside of the minister. But be very careful that you are not disrespecting and dishonoring the vessel, as this will only cause you to forfeit the treasure on the inside. Any time a believer fails to heed the voice of the man and woman of God that He has divinely placed in their lives, they are dishonoring God, and dishonoring His gift to them.
Many times the members of a local congregation will seek to honor a minister far away, and at times even sacrifice financially for them, but then turn around and dishonor their own pastor who is fathering them.
It could be compared to the boy who likes his friend’s dad better than his own, because his friend’s dad does cooler things than his dad does, like work with wood, or builds boats, or plays football, or an endless list of other fun things. The son wants to compare his uncool dad with his friend’s dad, but the comparison is not accurate.
You see the friend’s dad never corrects him, never stands over him while he cleans his room, or barks at him about taking out the trash or getting his homework done. The son fails to realize that his dad in molding him and shaping him into becoming a responsible man someday, but where is the fun in that, he thinks.
So then, because he doesn’t see the whole picture, he wants to honor his friend’s dad, and dishonor his own. Yet all the while his own dad loves him, sacrifices for him, and is willing to lay his own life down for him without a moment’s hesitation. And these are things that the friend’s “cool” dad would never even consider doing for him.
The same can be said for pastors who truly father those in their congregation. They pay an awesome price and sacrifice personally in more ways than people ever realize. And they do all of this so that they can make true disciples out of the believers who attend their churches. Yet they are often dishonored by the very ones they are ministering to and making strong disciples out of.
[highlight]Don’t allow dishonor to operate within you towards your pastor.[/highlight]
Don’t let your pastor depreciate because of wrong thoughts or attitudes that you have developed. Instead, demonstrate honor and appreciation for them, not only during the month of October, but all year long.