Summary: We hear a lot in October about "Pastor Appreciation Month". This is a sermon that expresses love and appreciation from the pastor to the church.

(This sermon contains much information that is specific to my congregation. I shared it because there seems to be very few resources on this subject. And there may be some pastor out there who is looking for a way to show his love, gratitude and appreciation to his flock. It is my prayer that you will be blessed by this very special message to my faith family.)

A Church Appreciation Sermon

Philippians 1:1-8

A new preacher moves his things into his new office. In his desk he finds a letter from the former pastor. The letter says that there are 3 sealed envelopes in the file cabinet.If you run into any trouble while pastoring this church, open them." Well, of course the new preacher thinks he will never have to use them… But in his youthful enthusiasm, he tries to change the order the kids march in during Vacation Bible School. Well, this makes the workers absolutely furious and there is a lot of ugly talk about the new pastor. He remembers the envelopes and opens the first one. It says, "You haven't been here long, but you decided to make a change in the Vacation Bible School; now everyone is mad. Tell everyone that the former preacher had told you this was how you preferred to do it." So the young preacher did that and it worked well.

He had been there about a year and a half when he tried to change the deacon position from being a life-long job to a position that rotated annually. Well, this made the deacons really mad, and they were the ones who made his salary recommendation. So he went back to the drawer and got the second envelope: "You did something to make the deacons mad and there's talk of replacing you. Tell them this is the official denominational policy; that you thought they wanted to comply, but it doesn't make you any difference what they do." He tried this, and again it worked great.

Then… after three years, he told the women's organization that they were going to have to open the kitchen so that it could be used without a representative from the women's group being present. This put the women's organization in open revolt. So he went back to that third and final envelope: "You've been here about three years and you finally got the women's organization mad. My suggestion for you is to prepare three envelopes for your replacement... "

I am glad that Bro. Cliff didn’t have to leave me any envelopes in the office. And I am thankful that if he had, there has not been any reason for me to open them!

Each year in October you are so kind to show us your appreciation for “Pastor Appreciation Month”. Furthermore, you show us love and appreciation throughout the entire year. I would like to take some time today and show my appreciation for you.

6 ½ Years ago you asked me to be your Pastor. And at the time I did not want to be the Pastor of this church. Don’t take offense to that, at the time I didn’t want to be the Pastor of any church.I liked preaching in a different church every week. I figured if the folks didn’t like what I had to say, they didn’t have to invite me back, but God had other plans. I didn’t really realize until last Sunday, how much things have changed. As we traveled to Greenville, all I could think about was Stockdale.

- At 9:00 I said to myself “Well, Brother Blake is about to unlock the church”

- At 9:35 I thought “Well, the men are about to go to the prayer room”

- At 9:50 I said “Sister Maxine has everyone laughing in the Sunday School assembly”

- At 10:10 I figured Jim had already begun to aggravate Sylvia.

- All morning I kept thinking about our church.

The Apostle Paul traveled and ministered to many different groups of people. He was instrumental in establishing many churches. One such church was the church at Philippi. In Acts 16:9 we read where Paul received the Macedonian call - Acts 16:9 and a vision appeared to Paul in the night; There stood a man of Macedonia, and prayed him, saying, Come over into Macedonia, and help us.

Paul answered that call and went to that region.Some notable events occurred while Paul was there:

1. a seller of purple named Lydia was converted.

2. Paul cast a demon out of a woman and he and Silas were persecuted as a result.

3. They were scourged, put in prison and fastened into the stocks.

4. While in this Philippian jail Paul and Silas prayed and sang praises at midnight and the earthquake came and loosed their bonds.

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