Showing Appreciation

I am an outspoken opponent of Pastor Appreciation Month. I have written about this on my blog (you can search for those posts), spoken about it in sermons, and deconstructed it in private conversations. Most of the people I serve know where I stand, and last October, I received precisely zero cards or gifts, and I am perfectly fine with that happening.

But all my crusading has led people to the wrong conclusion that I hope to correct. A month ago, I was talking to one of the people in the Church, and they said, “I know you don’t like people to appreciate you, but I want you to know that I do.” Wait. What?

I guess they had taken my harsh words about a month set aside to artificially praise your pastor as a statement that I was opposed to all appreciation. That is a mistake, and I am sorry if I gave anyone that impression.

Showing appreciation is a vital part of every community, but especially the Church. There is a proper place for people to demonstrate their recognition for the works and gifts of other people. Telling people that you are so happy that they did this project is not wrong. Stating how glad you are that someone used their talents for God’s glory is always a good decision.

I am against artificial praise. People saying how blessed they are by a ministry when they are not. Friends offering praise for a clearly subpar effort is a mistake. A false appreciation that is forced by some holiday or social construct is my problem.

Sincere, genuine appreciation is a precious gift to the community of God’s people. Let me encourage you to say the words, send the email, drop a text, write a card, or pay a visit to someone and tell them how much you appreciate them. Take time today to contact that person who has made your life better and tell them how they have blessed you. May your words be ever full of the praise of God and an appreciation for others.

You don’t need a particular month or day to show people how much you appreciate them. If you genuinely mean it, today is as good of a day as any.

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