Great Stuff Found on the Web — How To Appreciate Your Pastor

I found this “liked” by a friend on facebook on a new-to-me blog, We Are All Beggers; Thanks Pastor Anthony Voltattorni for writing this for Pastor Appreciation Month:

It’s October, which means it’s Pastor Appreciation Month.

Now there are many websites giving suggestions for ways to celebrate your pastor. Some of their suggestions include giving a card shower, holding special banquets in their honor, giving a trophy, or even a surprise vacation.

Now, it’s not that those aren’t nice things to do. But this is not how you should appreciate your Pastor.

So how should you show appreciation for your Pastor? To answer that question, you must first ask “Why should a Pastor be appreciated at all?”

It’s not because he’s well liked, has a good personality, or is a snappy dresser. It’s not because he’s really good with kids or tells funny jokes. It’s not because he’s likable in any way. Your Pastor may very well be someone you can’t stand at all. Maybe you even pray that he takes a call somewhere else, and yet, you should still appreciate him.

Why? Because he’s the one chosen to stand in the place of Christ for you. He’s Christ’s mouth for you, delivering the Holy Words of God in Law and Gospel. He’s Christ’s hands for you, delivering life, salvation, and the forgiveness of sins in the Sacrament.

You appreciate your Pastor not because of him as an individual, but because of the office in which he stands.

So back to my original question, how should you show appreciation for your Pastor?

Here it is: Simply let him do those things for which he is called to do. Go to Church. Go to Bible Study. Let your ears be filled with the Word of God and your mouths be filled with the Body and Blood of Christ. Receive what your Pastor is there to give you. For when I urge you to go to the Divine Service and go to the Sacrament, I am doing nothing less than urging you to be a Christian. Be a sheep unto your under-shepherd, your Pastor.

Do this and your Pastor, if he’s worth his salt, will feel more appreciated than ever.

“For the gospel is not delivered unto us that we should thereby seek our own praise and glory, or that the people should honour and magnify us which are the ministers thereof; but to the end that the benefit and glory of Christ might be preached and published, and that the Father might be glorified in his mercy offered unto us in Christ his Son, whom he delivered for us all, and with him hath given us all things.”
Martin Luther, A Commentary on St. Paul’s Epistle to the Galatians, 5:25

Thanks for reading!

For more great stuff from Pastor Anthony Voltattorni,visit We Are All Beggers.

About Norm Fisher

Norm was raised in the UCC in Connecticut, and like many fell away from the church after high school. With this background he saw it primarily as a service organization. On the miracle of his first child he came back to the church. On moving to Texas a few years later he found a home in Lutheranism when he was invited to a confessional church a half-hour away by our new neighbors.

He is one of those people who found a like mind in computers while in Middle School and has been programming ever since. He's responsible for many websites, including the Book of Concord,, and several other sites.

He has served the church in various positions, including financial secretary, sunday school teacher, elder, PTF board member, and choir member.

Norm has been involved behind the scenes in many of the "go-to" websites for Lutherans going back many years.


Great Stuff Found on the Web — How To Appreciate Your Pastor — 6 Comments

  1. “Celebrate your pastor?” One celebrates events. My pastors, being created in the likeness of God, have a far greater dignity than events. The slaughter of English presses on.

    (He’s right about how to honor one’s pastor, though)

  2. Pastor Appreciation Month was started by Hallmark Cards as
    another way to sell cards. We need to appreciate our pastors
    12 months a year and it does not involve mailing them cards.
    When pastors are preaching and teaching God’s Word and
    administering the Sacrament according to God’s Will, then
    they are fulfilling their divine call as God’s servants.

    We can demonstrate our appreciation by giving them an
    adequate salary that is based on years of service and the
    need to provide for their family. It should never be necessary
    for a pastor to be hurting financially , if the parish is truly
    caring for him with an adequate paycheck and not trying
    to get by on the cheap.

  3. If your Pastor does or says something that is particularly helpful to you, remember to tell him so.

    If he does or says something that gives you a problem, ask him about it privately. There may be a good reason. Unless he’s teaching against Scripture and the Confessions, listen to him. (You might ask for a class on the Confessions if you don’t have one.)

    My first LCMS Pastor was described to me beforehand as “firmly standing on the Rock” and he was. A less charitable person said I’d get into trouble, (being outspoken). I didn’t.
    If something bothered me, I told him and he would either say, “I do it this way because….[a good reason].” Or, “Did it look that way to you? Perhaps we could do that differently.”
    We were good friends long after he retired and moved away.

    Don’t tell a new Pastor, “WADITWB”! Maybe they didn’t, where he came from. Be open to a few new ideas, (as long as they are Lutheran.) He really will try to reciprocate!

    And remember him in your prayers, as he will no doubt remember you!

  4. Very good point on needing to appreciate our pastor year round. However it’s an awful good excuse to have a potluck in October!

  5. I am just amazed at how much our society has changed in viewing our pastors over the years. When I was growing up, we honored and respected them by virtue of their office. Much the same as we did with policemen and teachers. The office of pastor was indicative of a man who had spent many years studying the Christian faith and was able to lead his flock in the path of truth. We never would have thought to demean him or his practice, he was after all, the representative of Christ and as such, worthy of respect for that alone.

    This was the man I could go to and ask any question and no matter how stupid it was, get a well thought out response. He was the one I went to when as a young girl, was stalked by a child molester who knew where I lived and my phone number. I didn’t go to my parents, I ran as fast as I could to my pastor’s home; the man who could make almost anything ok. This same man, counseled me when as a teenager I thought drugs and partying were cool things to do. When I doubted the historicity of the bible, this same man was able to answer my questioning doubt.

    His job wasn’t a Sunday only work, he was there elbow to elbow with the people he cared for, lived among, cried and rejoiced with year after year. In my eyes, the role of a pastor hasn’t changed and I value him for not only what he does but what he represents. I’m reminded of the parable of the vineyard and the owner sending his servants only to have them killed off. When will we learn?

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