Did you know that October is Pastor Appreciation Month?
Believe it or not, your pastor has one of the hardest, most thankless jobs on the planet. Not only does he serve in a public role open to criticism, but he wears heaps of hats: baptizer, funeral companion, counselor, career coach, custodian, justice seeker, teacher, trainer, unifier, youth advocate, public speaker, discussion leader, and grace giver.
Just reading that should make you tired! And consider that a short list.
Pastors love their congregations, they cast a vision, and they work extremely hard, so it makes sense that we dedicate a month to their appreciation.
But here’s the problem: How do you celebrate someone who does so much? Is there a perfect gift? Probably not, but we think the list below is a great place to start.
1. Write Letters
Ask people in the congregation to write encouraging letters, or even better, compile a book of handwritten letters and give it to your pastor on Sunday morning.
Thank him for all the times he’s worked outside the typical 9-5 workday, how the Lord has personally used him to encourage your walk with Jesus, how you see the pastor’s presence making a positive influence on the community, and even share some encouraging Scripture!
2. Give Books or an Audiobook Subscription
Does your pastor love to read? Maybe he loves audiobooks? If you don’t know what types of books he likes, have everyone pitch in for a gift card to LifeWay and let him choose!
You could also give him a year’s worth of audiobooks.
Hint: Don’t give a leadership development book unless he’s asked for it or he loves the author. While he may benefit from reading it, it won’t be a relaxing read and it won’t feel like appreciation if he’s constantly wondering about the potential deficiencies he has to work on while reading it.
3. Help Around the House
Consider starting a meal train for the family and deliver homemade meals a few times a week, assemble a team for lawn care, or setup multiple days of childcare so they can go out on a date night!
BONUS: Also consider ways you can recognize your pastor’s family. If your pastor is married, treat her to a spa day, bring her flowers, or shower her with her favorite candy! If they have children, go out of your way to make sure they are recognized, too!
4. Make a Fun Video
If your church has a media team, create a fun thank-you video with encouraging messages and stories.
5. Thank Him Publicly
Sometimes a little public recognition goes a long way. Put up a big thank-you sign in your town (rent a billboard if you want to go big) or recognize him at a local sporting event!
6. Serve in the Church
This is simple and sometimes overlooked, but you can always start by asking where your pastor needs help. Does the church need greeters, more parking coordinators, or volunteers? If you can remove a burden and allow your pastor to redeem some time, that will be better than any physical gift.
7. Celebrate All Month Long
Use an October calendar to schedule volunteers for month-long surprises and treats. Each day of the month, your pastor will receive a surprise token of appreciation from a church member, committee, or group within the church!
Honor God and your pastor this October by celebrating Pastor Appreciation Month with a thoughtful, personalized, and encouraging gift here!