by Thom Rainer
In some ways, I don’t like the official designation of October to be pastor appreciation month.
I really wish we showed appreciation to pastors all the time. But like many other points of recognition, it does serve as a reminder that we are blessed by our pastors and their ministries.
So how can you bring joy to your pastor? My list of ten is based on the interactions I have with thousands of pastors every year. Some of the affirmations are letters. Many of them have no monetary cost. All of them will be greatly appreciated.
- A handwritten letter committing to pray for your pastor. I just spoke with a pastor who received such a gift. He was choked up just talking about it.
- A handwritten letter of support. Pastors receive criticism regularly. It’s an unfortunate way of life for them. Though many of you support your pastors, they really appreciate your telling them so.
- An anonymous letter with cash. Let your pastors know the gift is for them. Most pastors have no extra funds to buy books or resources or even go out to eat.
- A gift card. Find out what your pastors really like. Do they have a favorite restaurant or store? Get them a gift card.
- A childcare certificate. Commit to a certain number of days to watch the pastor’s children, assuming the kids are still at an age that need childcare. That will be an incredible gift for pastors and spouses.
- A handwritten letter expressing how much difference the pastor has made your life.Be specific. Let your pastors know how much their ministries mean to you personally. Don’t write in generalities, but in ways that demonstrate your life is better because of your pastor.
- A handwritten letter of gratitude to the pastor’s spouse. Pastors’ spouses rarely get affirmed. Your letter of gratitude will mean so much—both to the spouse and to the pastor.
- Books. Most pastors love books. Most pastors have a wish list of books they would like. If you can’t find the specific wish list, a gift card for them is great as well.
- Video of gratitude. Produce a video to be shown in the worship service. Have testimonies of gratitude. Show specific ways the pastor has made a difference. Express gratitude to the pastor’s family as well.
- Remember their anniversary. Let pastor appreciation month be a reminder for you to note your pastor’s anniversary at the church. Celebrate it when that date arrives. Too many pastors get passed by every year despite their ministry and labors for the church and the Kingdom.
Most pastors do not expect recognition or rewards. They did not enter vocational ministry for that reason.
But they really do appreciate it when one or more of the church members remember them in a positive manner.
I hope you will be one of those church members.