Pastor Finds Pastor Appreciation Month ‘Strange’ — Can You Relate?

"He explained one motivation some pastors have for remaining silent. 'Rather than reminding their church, in the name of "humility," many pastors just soldier on, trying to convince themselves that they don’t need to feel appreciated.'" - C.Leaders

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Aaron Blumer's picture

EditorAdmin

When I was a pastor I had another reason for downplaying (completely ignoring) "pastor appreciation month." For years, I'd never even heard of it, then suddenly it was a thing. I never asked for it to be a thing and didn't want it to be a thing.... and wondered, who decided October is pastor appreciation month and why should we take their decision seriously?

Call me a curmudgeon, but at the time, I felt like the last thing we needed was another "something something month." Pretty much still feel that way.

The ministry of encouragement doesn't need a month, and as a pastor, when you get appreciation in October, you figure it's one of those "Well, I'm obligated" things. But I got plenty of appreciation the other 11 months of the year in those days.

So, bah humbug. This is another card-and-gift-business inspired pseudo holiday.

Views expressed are always my own and not my employer's, my church's, my family's, my neighbors', or my pets'. The house plants have authorized me to speak for them, however, and they always agree with me.

Bert Perry's picture

....that invented "Sweetest Day" in Michigan--I figure that's one you'll, as a native "troll", remember well, Aaron.  :^)  

"Lessee....with all the demands that are made in churches, parishioners need another reason to feel guilty about not doing enough....hey, how about creating a 'Pastor appreciation month'!?"

"Hey, we're not selling enough greeting cards and flowers....let's create a new romantic day that will guilt men into spending ridiculous amounts of money to atone for their neglect of their girlfriends/wives!"

Seriously, I remember a friend of mine joking that after October, the congregation would revert to something like "Malign neglect 11 months".  It's a lot like Valentine's Day--if you're not appreciating someone the rest of the year, there really isn't a whole lot that anything you do in October (or on February 14) will do to help.

(as one might guess, yes, I did give out Al Capone Valentine's Day cards one year....sadly, only two people got the joke.  They are married happily to each other!)

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

Aaron Blumer's picture

EditorAdmin

I guess what bugs me most is that this relatively recent invention is suddenly talked about everywhere like it's Christmas... of course you should participate! There's something wrong with you if you don't... and if you're a pastor and don't like it, there's something wrong with you also. It's just weird how quickly this became a "given" in evangelical culture.

Views expressed are always my own and not my employer's, my church's, my family's, my neighbors', or my pets'. The house plants have authorized me to speak for them, however, and they always agree with me.

Bert Perry's picture

OK, weird, but understandable--let's think of how many fads we've been through in the past decade or so.  It's breathtaking and a little bit bewildering.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

Michael_C's picture

One of my big struggles here is how these kinds of messages can shape unrealistic expectations for pastors. I read the recent article of "things NOT to give your pastor for pastoral appreciation month" and honestly I was flabbergasted. What an odd sense of entitlement for a shepherd to display. A handwritten note isn't appreciated if it doesn't have a Starbucks gift card in it??? 

Anytime I'm given a gift, I try to accept it from the heart it was given with. At holidays I don't build up crazy expectations of what I want from family. That's immature and will likely lead to disappointment.

There is something of a cottage industry writing articles targeted at pastors telling them what they should get from their church. Many of these articles set up an unreasonable standard, written by authors who know what the audience will respond to. These articles tend to contribute to a sense of resentment in pastors, even ones who are well paid by any reasonable measure. "This article says I should have a church-provided car, yet you have never provided one!"

pvawter's picture

Michael,

I'll be sure to forward on any praying hands or angel figurines I get this year. Don't want you to feel left out!