October has been set aside as “Pastor Appreciation Month.” I have always thought that this was a little silly. It is like the joke that goes around the church where I serve as pastor: “we got to appreciate you a little.”

When it comes to showing appreciation to your pastor, I think that it would be good to understand who those “pastors” are. Just because a person holds a position in a church, it does not mean that they have been a pastor. Just because a person does not hold the title of “Pastor” (of any kind) that does not mean that he or she is not serving in that role.

During this month, I want to take some time to recognize some of the people who have been “Pastor” to me. These are people that the Lord has placed in my life over the years to help me become what God desires.

In this post, I want to talk about my appreciation for the man I consider my first pastor: Joey Savell.

Joey was the youth pastor that God used in great ways to disciple me as a teenager. When I had been burnt by “church as usual”, this guy was leading a ministry that was reaching out to students both close to God and very far from Him. I am so grateful that he was obedient to the Lord (even when it cost him MANY of confrontations in deacons’ meetings).

Joey has been there for me ever since God called me into the ministry in the summer of 1996. He took me under his wing and gave me opportunities to learn and grow in my faith and calling. He has always been one that I could call up and share my heart with. He has definitely been given the gift of “telling it like it is.” It has been good when I have needed a voice that was going to shoot me straight that I could call on this man.

The apostle Paul never was married, he did play a parent role (spiritually speaking) in a few people’s lives. Just as Timothy and Titus are referred to as Paul’s sons in the ministry, Joey has served as a father in the ministry to me and other people throughout the years.  Thank you for all that you do, Joey!