A quick scan of any social media will remind you that each day carries significance with it.  I’m speaking of course about the significance of National Hamburger Day, National whatever day.  Just this past week I saw tons of pictures of daughters because, it was National Daughters Day.  What do you do on such a day?  Well, it appears you take a picture and post it to social media.  Along with those pictures comes stories, memories, and appreciation.

Today is October 1st.

Did you know that today is National Hair Day?  For those who have it – appreciate it.

For pet lovers – Did you know that today is National Black Dog Day? Appreciate your pup.

And who doesn’t love International Coffee Day! Today is the day to appreciate the nectar of the gods known as coffee.

For more October 1st holidays check out https://nationaltoday.com/october-holidays/

Today is also the beginning of a new month.  For those in the church, you might remember that today begins the month of Pastor Appreciation.

Churches tend to celebrate Pastor Appreciation month in different ways.  Based upon culture some churches might make a public appreciation on a Sunday morning – (introverted pastors love this by the way).  Others might offer a card, or a monetary gift to thank and appreciate their pastor.  Others celebrate the month by ignoring it completely.

As a pastor myself I have wrestled with this month.

Probably like you…

I appreciate being appreciated.  But, I feel awkward because I didn’t say yes to this calling because I wanted an entire month dedicated to appreciating me.  Yet, I would also feel the pain of having another October go by where my church did nothing to acknowledge it. I felt envy when I saw other pastors post about what their church did for them.  I felt weird when on the last Sunday of the month I would be publicly presented with a card because they didn’t want the month to go by without acknowledging it.  I felt embarrassed when I had to smile and receive my appreciation gift from the same people who were making me feel unappreciated at a meeting days before.

I get it.

I appreciate you.  I appreciate you because you said, “yes.”  Not everyone does that.  Today let my one small voice in the crowd of seemingly louder critical voices in your context reach you.  Maybe this is how we must begin this month.  Remember your ‘yes’ today.

You are a servant.  You know this because you are reminded often of it because of how people are treating you.  They will treat a servant like a servant; remember this.  Yet, Jesus reminds us that this is greatness.  Greatness will not be easy and rarely are servants thrown a parade for doing their job.  In the murkiness of ministry remember that there are people who appreciate and love you.  They may not always show it, even in a month dedicated to trying to show it.  But whatever you are walking through, you are not alone.  You are part of those that said, “yes”.

Thank you for your, ‘yes’.  Thank you for continuing to say yes when your circumstances encourage you to say, ‘no.’  From one pastor to another – you are appreciated.

Michael Smith

Rev. Michael Smith is the Superintendent of Congregational and Community Vitality for the Mountain Sky Conference of the United Methodist Church.  He is passionate about his family, creating new places with new people, and the Philadelphia Eagles.

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