As a pastor’s wife, I’ve often found myself in a position of being able to “peek behind the curtain” of ministry. I get to see what many people don’t—the good times and the tough times, the happy times and the sad times, the times of uplifting encouragement and the times of overwhelming disappointment, the moments of confidence and the moments of unique loneliness that too often plagues our pastors.
I consider it a privilege to walk beside my husband in his ministry and I’m thankful daily for the work he does, along with so many others, to “Preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; rebuke, correct, and encourage with great patience and teaching” (2 Tim. 4:2). But it’s important to remember that pastors are people, too. They’re not better than everyone else. They’re not immune to the ups and downs of life. And they don’t belong on a pedestal. They’re vulnerable humans. They need love, encouragement, and support, just like everyone else.
I’m the first to admit that I don’t always do a very good job of showing appreciation for all my husband does in the church. So, in the spirit of Pastor Appreciation Month, I want to encourage you (and myself) with a few tangible ways we can show appreciation to the pastors in our lives:
- Tell Them
Though they may not come right out and say it, words of affirmation is the love language of many pastors. It fills their cup more than you know when you tell them how much you appreciate them and all they do.
- Show Them
Show your pastors your appreciation by serving them in some way. Show up and mow their lawn. Offer to help around the house with maintenance issues. Babysit their kids. Treat them to dinner or take them out for coffee. Take them golfing or fishing. The possibilities are endless! Get creative!
- Gift Them
If you’re able, consider giving your pastors a gift. Big or small, this gesture of appreciation is always a blessing. Consider giving them things like gift cards, a planner, a subscription to their favorite magazine, or (one of my husband’s favorites) a really nice pen. See, it’s the small things!
- Pray For Them
Most importantly, pray for them. Pray for their spiritual protection (James 1:14-15). Pray for spiritual encouragement (2 Corinthians 12:9). Pray for their family (Timothy 3:2-6). Pray that they will preach His Word boldly (Acts 28:31). Pray that they will be wise when making decisions (James 1:5). Prayer is vital to the literal well-being of our pastors, and it is probably the one thing they long for most.
Now that you have some practical ways to show your pastors appreciation this month, remember that they can use your appreciation all year long! Since it’s so easy to get sucked into our daily routines and forget about those who serve in ministry, consider setting a reminder on your phone or scheduling a time in your calendar each month to find a way to say “thank you” to your pastors.
And remember to show appreciation for ALL your ministry leaders. Our Lead Pastors play vital roles in our churches and they need to know they’re appreciated, but don’t forget that there is a whole host of ministry leaders with other titles and job descriptions who shepherd your church as well.
Show appreciation of your whole church staff. Reach out to them, thank them, love them, and appreciate them. Don’t underestimate how the Lord can use you in your thankfulness.
What are some ways you’ve shown your pastors appreciation? Share your ideas in the comments below!
Rebecca Lusk is a pastor’s wife and mother of three amazing kids. She and her husband T. have been serving in ministry throughout their marriage, and value the “real life” aspects of their roles. Before relocating to Nashville, she and her family lived in Louisiana as T. served as pastor of a church revitalization. In her “free time” she is known to tackle big DIY projects head-on with the help of her good friend, YouTube.