My church officially wins pastor’s appreciation month. I was never aware that there was even such a thing as a pastor’s appreciation month, which is the month of October, until I came to Fellowship Bible Church in Dalton, GA where I serve as the worship pastor.
The first time I experienced this month at my church, I was overwhelmed by the giant stack of cards [many of which included gift cards to local restaurants] that were delivered to me and my family. People cooked for us, did house or yard work for us, hugged us, and prayed over us. In that first year, I felt so loved and seen by the people of my church. I felt humbled that they would not only allow me to lead them every week in worship, but that they would take care of my needs, both my physical needs like hunger and my emotional needs like affirmation.
I think that first year, I felt the love and support of my church, but the gift cards especially felt like a big deal. Every year since, the value of the cards have begun to overshadow the monetary value of the gifts. I don’t mean that my church is spending a fortune on Hallmark cards, but rather, the content of the handwritten notes have become far more valuable to me than the money.
If I am being honest, that first year, I didn’t work very hard to build good relationships in my church. God works in me slowly over time and I began to see the immense value in investing in my relationships. Now I look forward to reading the cards and I have been known to tear up as I read the personal notes written by people that I dearly love.
I don’t know anyone who doesn’t like to check the mailbox on their birthday. The mailbox is usually full of advertising or bills, except on your birthday. That is the most likely time that there will be a piece of literature meant just for you. Think of the way that makes you feel. Think now of the way that your heart is warmed toward the person who sent you that letter.
Today, you have the chance to give that same feeling and encouragement to one of the people in your inner circle. Take the time to write with pen and paper, find an envelope, a stamp, and text them for their address. Even if you will see them the next day, PUT IT IN THE MAIL. Remember that the point is to help your friends feel loved, and for some reason, when the United States Postal Service delivers your letter, it means more than when you physically hand someone a piece of paper.
My challenge to you is to let your friend know how their friendship has helped you live for God’s Kingdom. Let me know how it goes!