Posted on July 27th, 2011
Over the years God’s people have given me many gifts: gift cards for restaurants, iTunes, Starbucks, football tickets, hockey tickets, straight up cash, and straight up awesomeness. I am grateful for them all. But some of the very best gifts have no monetary value. When Immanuel celebrated the tenth anniversary of my installation here, one of the saints gave me a card with this written inside:
10 years as Pastor at Immanuel Evangelical Lutheran Church in Alexandria, Virginia!! I thank the Lord for you and your ministry. You have taught many catechumens, shared God’s comfort to many of us whose loved ones went ahead of us to the Lord, studied and stood up for the Truth of Scripture and preached and taught that truth to us. Thank you so much. May God bless you with strength and peace.
Over the years I’ve gotten other such notes, and they mean an enormous amount to me. I’ve saved many of them in a file which my wife labeled, “Encouragement for the Pastor.” When I get really down, a glance through that file gives me the strength to carry on, because the temptation that comes to me (and I suspect other pastors) is, “None of this is making any difference. None of it matters.” Such cards and letters are reminders that it has made a difference, and I should keep at it.
So the next time you’re struggling with a gift for your pastor, how about penning a few lines about your gratitude for the ministry? I promise you it will be an enormous encouragement, although he might never tell you.
Hockey tickets are still okay, too.