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On Pastor Apprectiation Month

This article isn’t for me.  While I appreciate whatever gestures of appreciation I might receive this month, Pastor Mike is the pastor you really need to appreciate this month.  His fifteen-plus years of dedicated, humble service have made him worthy of your appreciation and honor (1 Timothy 5:17).

But how do we appreciate such a faithful pastor?  Do we just send cards, gifts, or a bonus check?  Certainly those things are encouraged.  Galatians 6:6 says that “one who is taught the word must share all good things with the one who teaches.”  By all means, send some good things Mike’s way this month! 

Yet, there is something more that you can do every month that would bring Pastor Mike even greater joy.  The apostle John, in his third little letter, says this:

I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth. (3 John 4)

John isn’t talking about his biological children, but those who are under his spiritual care.  In all three of his letters, he addresses the members of the church as beloved “children.”  Like Paul (1 Cor. 4:15), John loves the church with a fatherly affection.  He is not just a teacher or a manager.  Teachers and managers work to help others grown and function well--that’s their job.  But for a father, it’s much more than a job. It is everything.

Ask any father.  When your kids are behaving badly, it hurts--whether they’re grown or not.  But when they’re doing well, is there any greater joy?  This is what John’s heart for the church was like--and it’s also what Pastor Mike’s heart is like.

So how can you appreciate your pastor?  Walk in the truth.  Live your life in a way that puts the truth of Christ on display.  There are many ways to do this.  In the context of Third John, his “children” are walking in the truth by caring for strangers in the church.  Throughout John’s letters, he calls his children to love one another sacrificially, to obey God’s word, and to resist false teaching . 

Walking in the truth means a lot of things.  But the big point is this:  is my life so centered on the gospel that my pastor might hear about it?  If he does hear about it, you’ve given him greater joy than any card or gift might bring.