Recently I was working an event here at Lake Williamson and as a part of the event I was required to wear a suit and tie. No big deal; I kind of like getting dressed up. So once the event was over and all of the well-dressed folks walked out the door, the real work began. Tables and chairs were taken down and moved out. Floors were cleaned. Dishes were washed. Decorations were removed. A few hours later it looked like an entirely different room.
None of this is abnormal except that I don’t typically do this kind of work while wearing a suit. Now I’m not above cleaning floors while wearing a suit. In fact, there is one profession where this sort of juxtaposition is normal.
Being a pastor is not an easy job. We all know the many important things that pastors do to serve our churches. But the work that a pastor does isn’t limited to what happens on stage every Sunday. Oftentimes, these men and women are also visiting the sick, cleaning up other people’s messes, and listening to people complain constantly. I realize that most seminaries train people in how to write sermons, but they should probably include classes on how to manage whiners.
Aside from having to do lots of annoying work, pastors also work a lot of hours. When you show up for church on Sunday, the pastor may have already been there for hours. And when you hurry out the door to beat the other churches in town to Applebee’s, the pastor is still at church counseling someone who’s going through a hard time. And when that’s done, they’ll walk through the building to make sure that the lights are off and the doors are locked.
October is Pastor Appreciation Month. And even if you think your pastor’s sermons are boring and that he’s a bad singer and that they picked the wrong color carpet for the sanctuary, take a moment to let them know how much you appreciate what they do for you. Sometimes those moments of recognition and gratitude are all that it takes to keep someone going when they’re worn out.