There is a great article in Ministry Matters about what pastors would like from their churches for Christmas. Actually, that's a good question for spouses too.
Some churches are generous in their thoughtfulness of clergy families. But others, not so much.
In one of our churches the ladies of the church thought they would do something nice for the staff and their families. But they had a large number of staff and this meant a lot of people, so they elected to have a dinner in our honor in the church fellowship hall. Just us and no church members, other than the servers. They took the cheap way out. Not because they could not afford to do something better, but using the basement was just more convenient for them.
Actually, I was doing pretty well with all this, because I had such low expectations, until the wife of our choir director said to me under her breath, "Like this is supposed to be special for us?! This is no different than the Wednesday night church dinners we have to eat every week." And indeed there was the same cook, the same paper on the undecorated tables, the same plastic silverware, and my husband was asked to say the prayer.
I hadn't quite thought of it that way, but she was right. Then I ate the entire meal served with a side dish of anger. The church ladies were well-meaning, except they hadn't gone to the trouble to think or ask what would be nice for us.
But there are happier stories too, like the little church that gave, what seemed like a lot of money, so we could enjoy Christmas. Then there was the generous soul who bought us a color TV, so our little girl could watch Sesame Street in color. Yes, that was the reason.
I know we're not in ministry for the money or for what the church can do for us. I know we are supposed to be above all that, but sometimes it's refreshing to experience a giving and generous church. Too many church people are only too happy to take all they can or stand by while others do the mission and ministry.
Generosity is a fruit of the Spirit. Rich in Spirit. Rich in generosity. I pray that you have a generous church and a generous heart this Christmas.
PS. Don't forget to check out that Ministry Matters article!