“The gifts he gave were that some would be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ” – Ephesians 4:11-12 (NRSV)
Pastor Mary Wiggins
October is Pastor Appreciation Month. And yes, our deep love for God helped us to decide to follow this odd and yet wonderful vocation. But it is nice to feel appreciated, as well. We are human after all. And on some days I wonder if this profession is a lost cause in the face of an increasingly secular culture, but that’s a rant for another day. But I should note, that I do believe that myself and fellow clergypersons are appreciated by you all.
So in honor of the month, I want share with you all what it is like to be a Pastor. My inner calling to ministry started in college as a desire to help people. Then after years of study, reflection, and evaluation, this calling evolved into the desire to accompany people through the highs and lows of their lives and remind them of God’s presence in those moments.
And sometimes, that calling looks like I presiding over lives important spiritual rituals, such as baptisms, weddings, and funerals. And other times, it looks like praying for people in my office, my car, or over bed sides. It’s leading worship, teaching bible studies, visiting the hospital, being a listening ear and sharing wisdom.
But it also looks like attending ball games and birthday parties, playing cards and drinking coffee. It’s hearing peoples stories, sharing their worries and their joys. And it’s advocating for the least of these among us. Ministry looks like lots of things.
So I want you to know, that needing a Pastor does not mean anything is “wrong” with you. Having a connection to your Pastor and church is way to be spiritually strong. It’s like how we see doctors for physicals or the dentist for a checkup, ministers are here to support us in our spiritual lives and be there if there does happen to be a crisis in your life.
And from time to time we will screw up. But we are people who are well aware of God’s forgiveness. And in those situations when we get it wrong, perhaps that is a great time for us all to practice it together.
Because, we are blessed in this county with many wonderful churches and pastoral leaders. And us leaders care for this place in God’s country just as you all do. So whether or not you are a church going person, please don’t hesitate to call one of us when you need us. Because at the end of the day, that is the best way for us to know that we are needed and appreciated.