October is Pastor Appreciation Month. Please consider writing a letter of encouragement, support, or thanks to your pastor – or maybe to a pastor in your community. I wrote this letter of thanks to a pastor in my community several years ago, and I still have never met this man.
Dear Pastor M___ ,
No, you don’t know me, nor have I been to your church. I attend another church in our town, but I want to thank you for all that you have done recently to show God’s love to our community. Seems like every time I hear about an event lately, you are giving of yourself and your resources, whether the people involved attend your church or not. So I want to specifically thank you for your caring outreach and let you know how your efforts have blessed so many others.
Last winter, you began counseling a couple in the midst of their marital problems. Perhaps they attended your church at some point but neither attends church now, and they both work in different towns. I spent time with the wife, and when she mentioned that they were seeing you for counseling, I was relieved to know that they were getting Godly advice. She quoted you and the recommendations you had made. Sadly, the couple eventually separated, but thank you for giving God’s love and Biblical counsel to people outside of your church circle.
Last month, you offered your church to a couple getting married. They rushed to have a service within weeks of their engagement, trying to find a church to host their wedding on short notice during the busy spring season. In your sanctuary, a beautiful bride was escorted down the aisle by her recently diagnosed, terminally ill father. Thanks to your church’s gracious hospitality, a dying man and his daughter saw their dreams fulfilled.
Recently, you preached at a memorial service for a suicide victim. The family was not even from this town, and you led the service at a church that was not yours. For two weeks afterwards, people quoted parts of your sermon and told me how your words had blessed the people in attendance. Thank you for serving God beyond the borders of your church.
May God bless the energy and effort you make to serve Him in this community and beyond. May He produce much fruit from the work you do beyond serving your church. I pray that God would surprise and even stun you with miraculous outcomes of your service in His name.
May your example challenge all of us to work outside our obvious zone of responsibility in Jesus’ name.