Scripture passages in the Pauline epistles reveal that this apostle truly loved people. In Philippians 1, Paul writes about how these believers have a special place in his heart and how he always thinks about them and prays for them. In Colossians 2, Paul expresses his deep desire for the Colossae church to be rooted in Jesus Christ.
Paul possessed the heart of a pastor. He cared deeply for the people among whom he ministered and even for believers he had not yet met but desired to meet and encourage. Paul endured physical suffering and many hardships for the sake of taking the gospel to people who needed to hear it.
As October is pastor appreciation month, I want to devote this column to making sure our pastors know how valuable their ministry is to God’s Church. I am grateful for the pastors all across our state who are investing their lives in leading and serving others through the local church.
Week after week North Carolina Baptist pastors faithfully teach their people God’s inspired Word. They stand up for truth and reveal the treasures found in Holy Scripture. Pastors help their people grow in their understanding of Jesus Christ, mature in the faith and grow in their relationship with the Savior.
Pastors have other responsibilities in addition to preaching and teaching. They visit people in the hospital, provide marriage counseling, perform weddings, comfort those who are grieving, preach funerals, serve in the community, disciple leaders, and the list could go on and on. In a recent column I mentioned how this state convention includes about 1,400 churches served by a bivocational pastor. This means that in addition to their work in the public sector these pastors often also have added responsibilities such as leading worship singing, bookkeeping and church facility upkeep.
I hope you show appreciation for your pastor year round, but allow me to encourage you to make a special effort during October to let him know you are grateful for him. The pastorate can indeed be lonely.
There are occasions when some pastors become discouraged and feel like they are burned out because of heavy responsibilities. Some feel they do not have close friends or people they can confide in or those who will offer encouragement. Are you aware that the pastor’s wife and children often sacrifice family time in order for him to meet the needs of his people?
Pray for your pastor and follow his leadership as he seeks guidance from the Lord. God has graciously given us pastors to help us along our spiritual faith journey. Tell your pastor this month how thankful you are for him.
“Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine.” 1 Timothy 5:17