“Dear brothers and sisters, honor those who are your leaders in the Lord’s work. They work hard among you and give you spiritual guidance. Show them great respect and wholehearted love because of their work. And live peacefully with each other.”
1 Thessalonians 5:12-13 NLT
October is PASTOR APPRECIATION MONTH and I would like to encourage you to be intentional when it comes to showing love and support for the spiritual leaders in your life. Also, as someone who has served in this role previously for more than two decades, allow me to share some insight with you into why and how you should participate.
As rewarding as ministry might be it can also be stressful, isolating, and even hurtful at times (Sheep bite!) Imagine being in a position where there is an unspoken expectation to be all things to all people (leader, counselor, life coach, biblical expert, visionary, manager, preacher, teacher, evangelist, missionary, friend, encourager, disciplinarian, boss, employee, etc.) all the while being on call 24/7, never feeling like you are “done” for the day, trying to balance church & family, and making appropriate time to care for necessary physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health. And did I mention coming up with a fresh message every week! Considering the fact that The Fear of Public Speaking ranks ahead of the Fear of Death that is no small fete. 🤔 😇
Obviously no two clergy or congregations are alike but in a culture that constantly asks, “What have you done for me lately?”, why not make sure that those who care for you know that you care about them.
I would suggest that you attempt to make it…
MEANINGFUL – Knowing that my top love languages are Words of Affirmation & Gifts and that I like watching football and collecting Batman memorabilia I have been blessed to receive many thoughtful cards and letters of appreciation over the years and have been surprised with Buffalo Bills’ tickets for me and my boy as well as everything Batman from lunch boxes to clothing & books.
WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR PASTOR’S PERSONAL INTERESTS AND HOBBIES? WHAT COULD YOU GET, OR DO, FOR THEM TO SHOW THAT YOU SEE THEM AS A PERSON AND NOT JUST A PASTOR?
PRACTICAL – This isn’t maybe as necessary as making it meaningful but it is always great to get something meaningful that is also useful. For example, I have received numerous gift cards over the years as well as new tires, a years worth of oil changes, free babysitting, meals, etc.
WHAT IS SOMETHING THAT WOULD BE USEFUL TO YOUR SPIRITUAL LEADER?
MEMORABLE – For my very first Pastor Appreciation Month back when I was a bachelor serving as an Assistant Pastor I received a gigantic card filled with coupons for free weekly meals and desserts, oil changes, movie nights, and other fun stuff good for a full year! My second year at that same church I was thrown a surprise party in my own apartment that took me forever to realize what was going on. Lol I was taken to Universal Studios once while already in Orlando for a Church Conference and I once I even came home from church to find a goat tied to a pole in my yard with a card letting me know it was my new lawnmower (named Billy). 😂
WHAT IS REALLY REMARKABLE THAT WOULD MAKE YOUR PASTOR’S DAY?
The reality is that it doesn’t have to be something big or expensive but it should be intentional and convey what you feel about him or her.
Here are some suggestions…
- Take them out for a meal to show your appreciation and to share with them what they mean to you.
- Send a handwritten card (not just hallmark with a signature) to encourage them (I have kept everyone of these over the past two decades of ministry and they still bring me joy when rereading).
- As mentioned above, it is always a welcomed idea to give cash or gift cards that could be used for days off, date nights, and family outings. BONUS… offer free childcare too!
- Commit to praying for your pastor on a certain day or time period and then let them know in case they ever want to share something specific. Better yet, recruit others to each take a day of the month so that they will be covered daily throughout the entire year.
- Go the extra mile! One time the Jr. Teen Sunday School Class literally covered my minivan with post-it-notes sharing thank yous, encouragements, funny stories, etc. IT! WAS!! AWESOME!!!
Whatever you can do will be great as long as you do something! I would love to know what types of things you choose to do so please message me what your plan is. 😇
2 thoughts on ““Pastor Appreciation Month” by Pastor Randy”
I usually make an announcement to our pastor after the service. If the kids are available we have them make homemade cards and give them a bag with all kinds of goodies as well as a card full of cash.
I tell everyone – “ you think your job is tough, but do you get calls from hospitals at all hrs of the night, or nonstop emails and calls be cause of illness and death”!
The job is very tough, and your pastor needs to know that he or she is appreciated. Make it fun and silly but make it happen.