Pastor Appreciation Month

Pastor to Pastor: 10 Reasons I Appreciate You

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I admit my bias here. I’m a pastor. So, when I write about how much I appreciate pastors, I realize it may seem a conflict of interest. On the other hand, I want to honor those God-called leaders who’ve inspired and encouraged me for close to fifty years. As I think of these leaders, here’s what comes to mind:

  1. Thank you, pastor, for your faithfulness even through the tough times. Your willingness to endure even when ministry is hard encourages me to do the same. I need that help.
  2. Thank you for preaching the Word even when it’s unpopular. The world needs a clear, consistent, convictional voice right now, and yours has been one of those voices. You have stood on the Word, even if you’ve had to stand alone.
  3. Thank you for rejecting temptations that could have cost you your ministry. For every one pastor who has fallen morally, there are many more who’ve effectively fought the enemy’s arrows to remain uncompromisingly faithful. You are one.
  4. Thank you for being a prayer warrior we know prays for us. It’s one thing to say you’ll pray when we share a need; it’s another thing to prioritize doing it. I’m grateful you spend much time in their prayer closet—where there is no recognition.
  5. Thank you for serving obediently and cheerfully, sometimes in seemingly obscure places where no one knows you’re there. You’ve prepared for many years, earned more than one degree, and have much to offer, but God has called you to a small, out-of-the-way church that won’t be a feature story anytime soon—and still, you serve Him with joy.
  6. Thank you for being gutsy enough to confront us in our sin. We may not have appreciated it enough at the time, but we’ve learned your motive was only love and concern. You risked losing our support because you wanted us to walk in godliness. We have been humbled.
  7. Thank you for being there—or for making sure someone was there—in our own toughest times. Few people have the access to our lives like our pastors do—from birth to death, and at every major crisis in between those events. You’ve been a rock for us at times.
  8. Thank you for loving your family well. We who live in a fractured world desperately need examples like you. Your spouse and your children honor you, and so do we. Thank you.
  9. Thank you for pushing through the crazy days of COVID-19. I suspect only another pastor can fully understand all you’ve endured over the last few years. So, I thank you and share your burden with the same weary shoulders you have.
  10. Thank you for humbly accepting our appreciation. I know it’s awkward when someone praises you: you don’t want to be arrogant, but it is sweet to get affirmation. We want to honor you, however, so thanks for allowing us.

What would you add to this list?

*This article was originally published at

  • Pastor Appreciation Month
Chuck Lawless

Director of the Center for Preaching and Pastoral Leadership

Dr. Chuck Lawless currently serves as Professor of Evangelism and Missions, Dean of Doctoral Studies, and Vice-President for Spiritual Formation and Ministry Centers at Southeastern Seminary, in addition to serving as Team Leader for Theological Education Strategists for the International Mission Board. He previously served as a Vice-President for Global Theological Advance for the IMB. Prior to that, he was dean of the Billy Graham School of Missions and Evangelism at Southern Seminary in Louisville, KY, where he also served as Vice President for Academic Programming and the Director of Professional Doctoral Studies. He received a B.S. degree from Cumberland College and M.Div. and Ph.D. degrees from Southern Seminary. He is the author of eight works, including “Membership Matters,” and “Spiritual Warfare,” and has contributed numerous articles to denominational periodicals. He and his wife Pam have been married for over 25 years and reside here in Wake Forest, NC.

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