Galatians 6: 6 “Anyone who receives instruction in the word must share all good things with his instructor.”
Ministers often quote this verse during budget preparation time of year. We understand the admonition to mean that the good things are that church members tithe and support the budget so the preacher gets paid. While it is true that the worker is worthy of his wages, this verse specifically never mentions money. It says all good things. It speaks of an even greater price, the price of appreciation.
Every October churches are encouraged to recognize and celebrate Minster Appreciation Month. Churches often take up special offering for the ministers; maybe give him new books or a new suit or two. The church as a hole can participate in such acts of appreciation, but what can you do as an individual? What can you do year round instead of just in October?
Besides your current pastor, think of all those who have made a spiritual impact on your life. It may have been a pastor. It may have been a Sunday School or Discipleship teacher. It may have been a Youth Minister or Music Minister. It may have been a deacon or a fellow believer in Christ. How long has it been since you expressed genuine appreciation to that person. I don’t mean buying a new suit. I mean heartfelt words of encouragement and appreciation whether written or spoken.
Dale Carnegie wrote, “Every minister, lecturer and public speaker knows the discouragement of pouring himself or herself out to an audience and not receiving a single ripple of appreciative comment. What applies to professionals applies doubly to workers in offices shops and factories and our families and friends. In our interpersonal relations we should never forget that all our associates are human beings and hunger for appreciation. It is the legal tender that all souls enjoy.” (How to Win Friends and Influence People, p. 31)
Salary is a poor substitute for genuine appreciation. Carnegie continues, “Remember we all crave appreciation and recognition, and will do almost anything to get it.” (Ibid. p. 249). If you want your pastor or minister (even spouse) to bend over backwards and do a tremendous job, remember to demonstrate genuine appreciation.
As we enter this New Year, take some time now to express genuine, heartfelt appreciation. October is usually the month we observe Minister Appreciation Month. Why not make it something we do year round? Treat a spiritual leader to lunch and tell him or her what an impact he or she has made in your life. Remember, “A word aptly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver” Proverbs 25:11. Repeat as necessary.