What do you appreciate about your pastor?

Recently, I’ve been thinking about how undervalued pastors can be.

Pastors have a hard job. A packed schedule of family obligations, weddings, funerals, couseling and all the other things that come with shepherding the flock God has entrusted to them.

On top of that, they have to deal with a disheartening number of books & speakers who suggest the office of elder/pastor is unbiblical. People taking offense to something they say (perhaps because it points out their sin or it’s a legitimately poor choice of words) and trash them, and on and on it goes…

It’s easy to see why Paul wrote, “Let the elders who rule well be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in preaching and teaching” (1 Tim 5:17, emphasis mine).

There’s the big issue: Elders who rule well (in short, leading people in the example of our ultimate leader, Jesus) are worthy of “double honor.” In the context of the passage, it is talking about financial compensation—but it’s also talking about respect.

And that’s something I wonder if we’d do well to think about for a few minutes.

What do you appreciate about your pastor?

Have you ever had an opportunity to think about it? Honestly, it’s not something that’s often at the top of my things to consider list, but it really is important.

But it’s really worth considering.

Pastors labor for our benefit in a “job” that, if they’re not unquestionably called by God, will destroy them (and sometimes even then, it can).

My pastor at Harvest cares enough about the people in our local church to tell them the truth. When he preaches, it is with the conviction and authority that come only from having wrestled with the Scriptures—because, ultimately, he’s letting the Bible speak for itself and God is blessing it.

That’s not something that wins friends. By declaring “the whole counsel of God” (Acts 20:27), he inevitably has to tell people some very hard truths, particularly about God’s hatred of sin, the exclusivity & sufficiency of Christ in salvation, and the scope of God’s sovereignty (in that there’s no limit to it, self-imposed or otherwise).

But he can only do that because God has chosen him for this task.

Because, honestly, who takes on a job where people will mock you, insult you, blog nasty things about you, or outright ignore every word that comes out of your mouth.

That’s not one that screams, “Sign me up!”

But a man who takes that role and is faithful to it is worthy of our respect.

A man who loves us enough to tell us the truth is worthy of our respect.

So maybe take a few minutes today and give the question some thought:

What do you appreciate about your pastor?

After you’ve given it some thought, send him a short encouragement and let him know that you’re praying for him.

It might be exactly the thing he needs to hear today.

Posted by Aaron Armstrong

Aaron is the author of several books for adults and children, as well as multiple documentaries and Bible studies. His latest book, I'm a Christian—Now What?: A Guide to Your New Life with Christ is available now.