Thursday, October 1, 2015

Pastor Appreciation Month

I'm a words person.  

I communicate best with the written word.  

I've thought a lot about writing this post and almost talked myself out of it because I don't want it to seem self-serving.  But, writing affirmation is easier to me than speaking affirmation.  And, it doesn't hurt that Dan's love language (If you haven't read The 5 Love Languages, you totally should!) is Words of Affirmation.  So, I write.

Today is October 1.  This begins the month known in Christian circles as Pastor Appreciation Month. I've had the privilege to sit under the teaching and care of some amazing men of God over my life as a Church attender.  From Don Bozeman who led me to Christ and baptized me as a 9 year old little girl to Lowell Johnson through my high school years and Ken Anderson through my college days.  But, no other pastor has influenced my walk with Christ as much as my current pastor.  

Listen, I'm not going to lie.  The life of a pastor is hard.  You have no idea.  I'm not discounting the difficulty of other jobs.  But, I will say that this one carries an extra load of responsibility.  This one carries the deep secrets of other people.  This one carries the weight of decisions that impact a large group of people.  This one allows other people to say whatever they think and feel about you while you continue to love and support them.  This one has a group of people who hear you speak for 30+ minutes each week who then have the opportunity to dissect every single word said and use it against you even when your intentions were pure or to misquote you.  This one gets called in the middle of the night when affairs come to light, when people die and when tragedy strikes.  This one finds people standing at your door sobbing because their world has fallen apart.  This one carries the weight of answering to God about the way you led his people.  It's hard.  

So, today, I want to appreciate my pastor.  I'm grateful for Dan Glenn.  He is persevering, disciplined, a constant student of ministry and of God's word.  He's humble and genuine.  He puts other people before himself.  He doesn't ask or expect anyone to do what he isn't willing to do himself.  He serves people of all ages.  He works hard.  He denies additional compensation offered to him so that money can be invested in ministry.  He takes the blame and responsibility of decisions made by others rather than naming them.  Even when he is handed discouragement and criticism, he still serves God's church well.  He doesn't quit.  He doesn't throw in the towel.  He just works harder. He loves Jesus.  He loves others.  He loves the church.  

But, more than anything, he pastors and shepherds our family well.  He walks the talk that he preaches from the pulpit.  He honors and cherishes me as his wife.  He speaks to me with respect and he serves me constantly.  He does the dad thing so well.  He loves our boys and leads them to know and follow Jesus.  He always got up at night with them as infants, changed dirty diapers, cleaned up vomit and took care of them while they were sick.  He was never above that and he still isn't.  He doesn't just preach about the role of a Godly father or blast it on social media. He IS a Godly father who models humility and manhood for us each day.  He gets up before all of us to study God's word and pray.  He seeks God's will and direction for our family and our church.  He asks advice from those older and wiser than him.  He pastors our family so well and we are blessed to call him husband/daddy/pastor.  

So, on this first day of October, I honor this man of mine.  I'm grateful for the calling God has placed on his life--even on the hard days.  Because, on those hard days, I wake up to texts with scripture he has been reading that morning while I was still asleep.  And, when I walk in the door so weary after a particularly difficult Wednesday night, he opens his Bible and starts reading scripture to refute what I'm thinking and feeling.  He lives out his pastoral calling in private every single day.  Our boys and I get to see it up close.  And, because of that, we will follow him as he follows Christ.  He leads us well.

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