I’m frequently shocked with the articles that end up resonating with readers. This one apparently caught your attention. However, you’ll need to tuck it away until next October–that’s when we will celebrate “Pastor Appreciation Month” once again. Regardless of where you land on this topic, you must have appreciated this post. It became the #5 most popular article in 2012.
I always blame Hallmark for the “holidays” that nobody ever heard of that suddenly pop up on the radar. I’m sure it’s just a vast right-wing conspiracy to sell more greeting cards.
“Pastor Appreciation Month” probably wasn’t a Hallmark invention (or maybe it was), but it sometimes it feels a lot like Grandparents Day or Sweetest Day or many of those other invented holidays where the prospective gift-receiver is left wondering, “If people don’t recognize me, do they really love me?”
I appreciate pastors. I really do. Many of my best friends are pastors. My brother’s a pastor. I was a pastor. You don’t have to convince me that pastors have a challenging role with unique stresses and rewards.
Having worked with hundreds of pastors across the country, though, I know you. I know your tendencies. I know your vulnerabilities.
With that, here are some things to consider…
- You’re setting yourself up for disappointment if you are expecting appreciation. When we our surprised by someone’s kind word or gesture, it has a bigger impact. When it’s expected, you’ll never know if it’s genuine and it’s unlikely it’ll ever meet your expectations.
- You think you have a tough job, but there are people in your congregation that have tougher circumstances. You are not unique. If you ever get to a place where you think your circumstances are far more difficult than anyone else’s, that’s a sure sign that you need to see a counselor.
- You may be pushing people away who don’t have appreciation months. There are factory workers, administrative assistants, CEOs, food service workers, homemakers, insurance salespeople and many other professions that don’t get entire months to be appreciated. Don’t alienate the people you are trying to reach by expecting appreciation that they will never see.