Pastor Appreciation Month is almost here, and you’re wondering how to show your gratitude to your pastor this year. Here’s an idea: Think beyond the typical thank you card or Scripture mug and find a truly unique way of celebrating your pastor.
How can you give your pastor something that will adequately express how thankful you are for the work he or she does every day?
What if your way of celebrating your pastor could return to him or her some of what he or she gives tirelessly on the job?
Consider how you can give your pastor the most precious of commodities: time, energy, resources, and relationships.
Give the gift of TIME
What is the biggest time-suck for your pastor? How can you give your pastor the gift of time so that he or she isn’t spending it on routine tasks or wasting it needlessly? Not having to worry about routine maintenance helps free up time that can be spent on more enjoyable and edifying things.
Ideas that help create more time in the pastor’s schedule:
- Hire a housecleaning or lawn-care service for the pastor’s home
- Coordinate an ongoing, home-cooked meal delivery from congregation members
- Send meals (pizza delivery, take-out, or meal kits)
- Subscription to Audible audiobooks for the pastor who spends a lot of time in the car
Give the gift of ENERGY
We’re all living at an intense pace, and few of us get as much sleep as we need, eat as well as we should, or exercise as we ought. Your pastor is just like the rest of us, only he or she may feel even more squeezed and drained just by the intense nature of the job. (You may want to coordinate with your pastor’s spouse for this one, just to make sure he or she is not offended at the offer of physical fitness. Still, most pastors would welcome a gift that helps them feel better.)
Ideas that help restore your pastor’s energy, health, and vitality:
- Monthly gym membership
- Personal training and/or nutrition coaching
- Monthly membership for massages and/or facials
- Subscription to a monthly “healthy” eating box
- Fitness and activity tracker
- Apps that promote relaxation, wellness, and fitness
Give the gift of RESOURCES
You know what gift is always appreciated and appropriate?
Cold. Hard. Cash.
That’s right! Everyone—especially pastors and their families—can always use a boost to the bank account.
Pastors also appreciate specific resources that help them grow spiritually, serve their flock better, and love their families well.
Ideas for resources to help your pastor:
- A bonus check
- Gift cards for groceries, restaurants, or department stores
- Gift cards specifically for your pastor to purchase clothing, shoes, suits, and accessories for his or her professional wardrobe
- A subscription to Bible software
- A gift card to his or her favorite tech store
- Sabbatical and personal retreat time
- Leadership development tools and training
Give the gift of RELATIONSHIPS
Many pastors’ families, sadly, can often feel lost and neglected when the work of ministry becomes intense. There’s no better way to show how much you appreciate your pastor than by giving his or her family the opportunity to strengthen their relationships with those they love the most.
Ideas to help your pastor build quality relationships:
- Free babysitting for your pastor and his or her spouse for monthly date nights
- A weekend away at a nearby hotel or bed and breakfast (babysitting included)
- Movie theatre gift cards for admission for the entire family
- Tickets for the family to attend the next kid-friendly concert, play, or show that comes to town
- Board games and card games that are age-appropriate and fun for the entire family
- A cornhole set, lawn darts, or horseshoes for backyard fun
- A party with your pastor’s family as guests of honor; ask attendees to express their thanks publicly, and celebrate your pastor!
Honor Your Pastor During Pastor Appreciation Month
The Bible is clear that those in pastoral ministry are to be honored: “Pastors who do their work well should be paid well and should be highly appreciated, especially those who work hard at both preaching and teaching” – 1 Timothy 5:17 (TLB). This October, make a point to express your love and gratitude for your pastor’s selfless service with a gift of time, energy, resources, or relationships with a creative gift that will be treasured.
For more ways to honor your pastor this October, check out 8 Things Your Pastor Really Wants This Pastor Appreciation Month.