By: Amy Dalke
October is Pastor Appreciation Month.
It’s awesome to set an entire month aside to love your pastor. But I vote that we buck the system, and carry this pastor-loving stuff into the other eleven months of the year as well.
Because your pastor needs your encouragement; and he values your gifts of appreciation more than you will ever know.
Pastors are God’s extraordinary gift to us. They show up for us in countless (and often unrecognized) ways, and they love, comfort, and encourage us to become who we already are in Christ.
Our pastors speak life into our souls; and they faithfully partner with God to equip the Body of Christ (that’s you and me) to carry the Gospel into our everyday lives.
Their role is invaluable, and I dare say it’s among society’s most demanding and difficult positions; yet it’s one of the most thankless careers on the planet.
But instead of bragging about how awesome your pastor is, I’m giving you a list of ways you can tell him yourself.
[This was written with Faith UMC pastors in mind, so I used “him” to reference pastors in general throughout the post. It just makes sense to refer to them as male. Since they are.]
12 Awesome Ways to Thank Your Pastor
1) Write a personal note or letter: Your words matter to him. Personal words of encouragement, love, and support seem like a small act of appreciation, but it is a HUGE gift to your pastor.
- Tell him how a sermon he preached affected you.
- Write a note to let him know his visit to the hospital was a big deal to you.
- Send him a card to tell him you prayed for him this morning.
- Tell him how his words inspired a big change in you, or how his message moved you to live out your faith in a specific way.
Your pastor will be thrilled to hear how God used him to make a difference in you. That means lot to him!
2) Books: There is a 92% chance your pastor is, on some level, a book nerd. That’s not an official statistic, but it’s an smartly-educated guess. If you don’t know what all the cool pastors are reading these days, buy a gift card for books instead.
3) Family vacation: About right now, you’re thinking I’ve lost it. But I’m not even kidding. You could get your bible study group, or a large group of church family friends, and pool together enough money for a weekend getaway for your pastor’s family.
Your pastor will think this is unnecessary and ridiculous. And it is. Which is exactly the point, and he deserves it.
4) Take Your Pastor to Lunch: Not as expensive as the vacation idea…and by inviting him to lunch, you kill three or four birds with one stone:
- You show you care enough to spend time with him outside of this pulpit-to-pew relationship you have going.
- He’ll love the free lunch.
- You’ll be giving him more to go on if he preaches your funeral. (This is clearly a selfish motive, but seriously! I want the person who eulogizes my life to know something about it. Don’t you?)
5) Car wash: Your pastor likely spends a lot of time in his vehicle, so this is an excellent gift. Because clean cars equal happy people. (Or maybe that’s just for the OCD types.) Either way it’s a great gift.
And now, friends, we ask you to honor those leaders who work so hard for you, who have been given the responsibility of urging and guiding you along in your obedience. Overwhelm them with appreciation and love. (1 Thessalonians 5:12-13, The Message)
6) Yard work: Mow your pastor’s lawn…or pay for someone to mow it. Trim hedges, tidy up the flowerbeds, plant new flowers, weed-eat. You get the picture.
7) A Hobby-Gift: If he loves to golf, buy him a round of golf; if he loves to fish, take him fishing. Buy his favorite golf balls, or fishing lures. Give him tickets to a professional football game, baseball game, or hockey game, etc. Set up a hiking trip, horseback riding, sailing.
8) Babysitting: Offer to babysit, or pay for a sitter to watch your pastor’s children while he takes his wife on a date.
9) Gift Basket of Favorites: Fill a bag or basket with his favorite coffee, tea, candy, gum, pens, chap-stick, toothpicks, etc. Get the scoop on what his “thing” is…and stock him up with it.
10) Gift cards: What does he like to do? Where does he like to shop? Buy him a gift card to the movie theater; restaurants; Target/Walmart; grocery stores; sporting goods or hunting/outdoor stores (Academy, Cabela’s); Amazon.com; or a book store.
11) Meals: Arrange to cook dinner for his family one evening, and deliver it to their doorstep. If you
can’t don’t cook, order pizza or other kind of take-out instead. (It still gets delivered, and they still don’t have to cook. Mission accomplished.)
12) Monthly Gift Delivery: I quite love this option, because it’s the gift that keeps giving. Do some undercover work to discover what your pastor is fanatic about, and give it to him once a month. Here are a few awesome options:
- Amazing Club.Com: Everything-of-the-Month – This website has everything from Bacon of the Month, to Hot Sauce of the Month, to Flower of the Month.
- Coffee of the Month – Have his favorite coffee delivered once a month.
- Harry & David: Fruit-of-the-Month – Whoever invented the fruit of the month club concept is a terrific human being.
Pick one of these, or make up your own…but whatever you do, please tell your pastor how grateful you are for him. You never know…he might be so thankful that he starts to pray more for you or something. (Which couldn’t hurt matters.)