Showing appreciation for the pastor is something each of us should do–especially through prayer and encouragement–on a regular basis, but life gets busy, and sometimes it’s easy to let it slide in lieu of other important things. Or at least it’s easy to forget to communicate to the pastor how much he and his ministry mean to the congregation.
Good news! October is Pastor Appreciation Month, so this is the month we can make it a priority.
Here is a list of 7 ways you can celebrate your pastor or church leadership this month.
1. Contribute to his library.
Rare is the pastor who wouldn’t appreciate more books or another nice Bible for his study. And many–if not most–pastors have a list of books they would love to own. If you choose to do this, you can make it even more personal by collecting money for a book or commentary set and then having church members sign or write notes of appreciation inside the covers. These books will easily become keepsakes.
2. Designate a time of prayer.
Have someone from the church family take a few minutes during a main service to lead the congregation in praying, specifically for the pastor and his family. Not only is praying for your pastor a good and biblical idea, but it will help direct the hearts of the congregation in how to think about the shepherd God has placed in the church. This time will be precious.
3. Tackle a to-doat the parsonage or church building.
Do the gutters need to be cleaned? Does the deck need some attention? Can the leaves be raked and bagged? Many pastors spend as much as 50, 60, or even 70 hours working weekly, so “honey-do” lists easily become “honey-do-it-later” lists. You could be a huge blessing to the pastor by assembling a team and helping complete a task. (Hint: If you aren’t sure what to do in this regard, talk to the pastor’s wife.)
4. Honor his family.
One way to celebrate your pastor is to love his family. He loves his family, so seeing others do something kind–even if it isn’t big or over-the-top–can be incredibly encouraging. Make a goodie bag for his kids, or give his wife a small gift of appreciation. This will mean much to your pastor.
5. Host a date night.
Your pastor is as healthy in the pulpit as his marriage is healthy. And sometimes–since pastors don’t work typical 9-to-5 days–date nights get put on the back burner. Consider collecting money for a restaurant gift card and then offer free babysitting if your pastor has young children in the home. This will be good for your pastor as well as for your church. The devil wants nothing more than to destroy your pastor’s family.
6. Write a letter.
Very little means more to a pastor than hearing from a member of his church congregation that God is working in his or her life. Better still, pastors love to hear how God is working and what, specifically, has been helpful. Often, pastors learn that a sermon they felt didn’t go as planned is actually the one God used to change someone’s life.
Take pastor appreciation month to be specific in a hand-written letter. Or pass out Stick-it notes, have church members write notes to the pastor on them, and then post them all over the walls of his office. Chances are, your pastor will hold onto these notes and pull them out in the future during (totally normal) seasons of discouragement. Words of encouragement go a long way.
7. Ask what would be helpful.
It’s possible your pastor has a need that isn’t even on the radar. Ask him (or his wife) what you or your church family could do to honor him this month. Come prepared with a few ideas or suggestions in case he doesn’t have something to share off the top of his head. Or ask him to get back with you about what would be encouraging. Bottom line: Emphasize how much you care and how much you want to be a blessing to him and his family. That, alone, will be worth more than you know to your pastor and his family.
Remember: Regardless of the month or the specific emphasis on pastor appreciation, the best way to encourage your pastor is to faithfully attend your church, not as a consumer, but as a willing disciple of the Word.
~ Christian Patriot Daily