To Pastors and Staffs: An Open Letter of Gratitude

Pastor, for all you and your staff do, thank you.
Pastor, for all you and your staff do, thank you. (Lightstock )

To all pastors and church staff,

I want you to know that I know being a pastor or church staff member is the most difficult job in the world. While it has unbelievable highs and on its best days is the most rewarding occupation/calling in the world, it is also the most difficult.

Unlike us in the marketplace, you lead volunteer armies and face an enemy (Satan and his demons) we may or may not encounter on a regular basis.

You have given your lives to serve people like me, my family and my friends. As a result, the two most important words I and everyone else under your leadership can ever say is "thank you."

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1. Thank you for going to God on our behalf and praying for us daily.

2. Thank you for studying God's Word and communicating its truths to us in a compelling fashion.

3. Thank you and your family for being willing to live in a fishbowl.

4. Thank you for demonstrating grace, love and patience when people question your motives and competency. Sheep may be dumb, but they bite. And they have a taste for pastors and church staff.

5. Thank you for putting in countless hours.

6. Thank you for being a continual learner.

7. Thank you for being men and women of impeccable character and integrity.

8. Thank you to your spouses and children for their willingness to share you with us.

9. Thank you for helping us discover our spiritual gifts.

10. Thank you for challenging and then helping us live a life of meaning and purpose.

11. Thank you for seeing what we could be through the power of Jesus Christ and not just what we currently are.

12. Thank you for presiding over the landmark moments of our lives—baptisms, weddings and funerals.

13. Thank you for telling us, "You're going to make it. It's going to be OK."

14. Thank you for having the courage to tell us about the sin in our lives and our need for repentance and a Savior.

15. Thank you for allowing us to serve alongside you and make a difference.

16. Thank you for expanding and helping to shape our worldview.

17. Thank you for modeling generosity and never allowing us to pick up a lunch tab.

18. Thank you for your great faith in what God can do.

19. Thank you for creating environments that help us raise Godly children.

20. Thank you for making hard decisions and then living with the results.

21. Thank you for paying the price of preparation and getting such a great education.

22. Thank you for your willingness to take a compensation package well below the level of your education.

23. Thank you for walking with us through tragedy, marital troubles, raising children and life's great challenges.

24. Thank you for the periodic phone calls, texts and emails just to see how we are doing.

25. And most of all, thank you for not quitting each Monday.

And also, please forgive us for many things, these five in particular:

1. Not being a better friend because being a pastor is the loneliest job in the world.

2. Not paying you more money.

3. Not praying for you more.

4. Not being as passionate as we could about the church's mission and vision.

5. Not bringing our friends to church as often as we should.

In conclusion, we will thank you every day of eternity for serving us, the church and our Lord so well. "Thank you" is not nearly enough, but I hope these two words encourage you today.

Brian Dodd's daytime job is as a Generosity Architect and leadership consultant for INJOY Stewardship Solutions. During the last 10-plus years, he has spent each day having one-on-one conversations with many of the greatest church leaders in America. He also has over 25 years of church volunteer and staff experience. Check out his blog: Brian Dodd on Leadership.

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