By Steve Holt
Church services director, Tennessee Baptist Mission Board
October is “Pastor Appreciation Month,” so I would like to give “double honor” to the men who serve in the pastoral role across our state. While much could be said about the difficulties and hardships pastors endure because of their calling, it is a humbling honor to carry the title of pastor. It is a “double honor” when those whom you serve as pastor take time to show their love and appreciation for your efforts on behalf of the Lord and His church. I would like to take a moment to thank the pastors of my past, my present — and my future.
The men who served as pastor of the church I attended as a child were farmers, truck drivers and construction workers who felt God’s call to proclaim the gospel and serve His church as pastor. They had limited education, time and financial support, but they were all filled with great passion for Christ and served Him faithfully. Our church never had a budget, never received an offering for the pastor or had any formal way of supporting him financially. There were individuals in the church who would literally stick money in his pocket or in his hand after church, but I doubt it was little more than “gas money.” I want to say “thank you” to all those men who served as my pastor during those growing up years. You are worthy of “double honor”.
I am thankful for the men who serve the church where I am currently a member. For 15 years my family has been a part of Thompson Station Church and our senior pastor, Tom McCoy, has been our pastor for all those years. We are especially grateful that the leadership of Thompson Station Church felt led to begin a satellite campus in Columbia a few years ago under the leadership of Eric Nichols, the campus pastor. My wife Donna and I consider ourselves a part of that campus, even though my obligations as an interim pastor keep me away on most Sundays. Eric is a gifted, passionate leader who truly loves our church family and the people of Columbia. God has blessed both his leadership and the church. We look forward as a congregation to moving into a new facility in just a few months. I believe these men are worthy of “double honor.”
If the Lord allows me to live a few more years, I imagine there will be other men who will serve as my pastor. Some of those men may be part of the “Millennial” generation or even “Gen Z.” That means they will be a definite minority as Christ followers among their peers. If the course of our culture does not change, they most likely will face opposition and hardships in upholding and proclaiming the principles of the Christian faith. I am praying for them as God prepares their hearts and minds for the role of “pastor.” I believe these men will be worthy of “double honor.”
During the month of October, I encourage you to reflect on the men of your past and present who have served as your pastor. Thank God for their service and ask Him to bless both their ministries and their families. If you can, find some tangible way to say “thank you” to the man who currently serves as your pastor. Then join me in praying for the next generation of pastors — the pastors of our future. Ask the Father to equip them, mold them and empower them to serve. They are all worthy of “double honor.” B&R