We finish reading through Romans in today’s Bible reading. He ends the letter like he does all of his letters with greetings to specific individuals who have ministered to him and to the church at large.
Of course, they don’t do it for the recognition (or they shouldn’t), but people like to be recognized for their work. Unfortunately, church work is notoriously a thankless work, so it’s especially helpful for those in the trenches to know that someone (in addition to the Father who “sees in secret”) sees what they’re doing and voices their support.
I have been very fortunate in the churches where I have served as pastor. On a regular basis, someone will walk up and sincerely express their appreciation. I have to say, it really means a lot.
Unfortunately, there are many pastors who work tirelessly “doing the Lord’s work” who rarely hear words of appreciation. And worse, some only hear backbiting and criticism.
Appreciation can be expressed, not only in words, but also in other ways. Sometimes pastors are given a couple of movie tickets and a little cash to cover a date night with the wife. Sometimes pastors are given a raise or a special love offering. Sometime they’re given a little time off, time away, time to unwind, time for a conference with other ministry leaders, or time to minister in a different setting. All of these ways are simple ways to say, “We love you and appreciate what you do for us and for others. Keep up the good work.
When was the last time you expressed your appreciation to your pastor, Bible study teacher, elder/deacon? When was the last time you expressed your appreciation to your kids? Your spouse? “Now” is always a good time.
I promise it will mean a lot!
This devotional was originally published June 5, 2019.