Pastor, I appreciate you as my leader. Leading is not fun, nor is it easy. There is too much responsibility. You lead people.
Longtime pastor, Ron Mullins' book title captures it: People are a Mess, and We are all People.
You are the one who can see what I do not yet see. You envision a tomorrow for me, my children, and our entire church. And I hear you speak to my children about what they can become. Your words inspire hope and possibilities. It allows us to imagine. Thanks for having a vision for me as an individual.
Collectively, you are taking us into deeper things of the spirit. Thank you. There are likely times when you are uncertain, but you remain calm and thus keep me calm. I like that.
I appreciate you because you take the time to explain to the rest of where we are going. Moreover, you have an idea of how we will travel to that destination. You are likely impatient with having to say it several times, but it takes me a while to get it clear in my head. Thanks for your patience.
Pastor, I value that by spending time in your company, I’m becoming a better person. Through your association with Jesus and His Bible, you have insight that gives answers to life’s tough questions. As a student, I sit at your feet during those collected hours of teaching and preaching. I realize that those Bible Studies you teach may take 6, 8 or even 12 hours to prepare. Thank you for being diligent in study that was Paul wanted of his protégé Timothy.
I’m not sure I’d be comfortable following a shepherd who was not talking about the difficult realities of life. Your words meet me at my pain, just as Christ met Mary and Martha at the point of their pain.
Even then, you are taking me toward green pastures. Your influence has taken me to a better place in life.
Pastor, I know that I’m one of the least in your flock. I don't make big money and I'm the personification of a one talent man. So far, I've not turned that one talent into two but I'm still working at it.
But I’m an individual to you. You treat me with respect, even when I’ve done something dumb. It could be said, “You respect my right to be wrong” just as you respect others. A teacher said, “People who are mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually healthy will not follow someone who treats them with disrespect.” I don’t have to worry about that, for you are kind, gracious, and love me when I’m not very loveable. Pastor, my words cannot tell you how much I appreciate you.
Pastor, I like that we are going somewhere. You’ve got us building something, buying something, paying something off, starting a preaching point, or “who knows what.” I know it isn’t busywork. Instead, what you are working those many hours to accomplish will make a difference.
You are a person of influence in my life. That is a privileged place. I've been burned a lot of times. On occasion, the one doing the burning has been called Reverend - but that person wasn't someone I'd ever call Pastor. So, I don’t trust easily and it takes time.
And your influence with me is not because you have ministerial credentials, make appointments to leadership positions, plan the church calendar, schedule evangelists or that you have a little office with the word “Pastor” glued on the door. You are allowed to influence me only because I feel I’m able to trust you.
No confidence I share with you will be told to your children, other church-members, to a visiting preacher. You'll never mention me with a phrase like, "Pray for Sis. so and so, there may be some difficulties in their marriage." I like that about you. So far, you've never made me feel small or belittled my question or way of approaching life.
You may not understand it, but my being able to trust you is even more significant in a world where such confidence is at an all-time low.
Thank you for being my pastor, for leading me. It means more than I’m able to say.