Pastor appreciation day is Sunday, October 10th!
I’m not really a fan of Hallmark holidays, but I do think devoting a day to celebrate our pastors is time well spent!
I remember going to church and thinking what a fun and easy job pastoring would be.
I also remember thinking, “It must be nice to only have to work one day a week…” Little did I know.
It’s Not As Easy As It Looks
It wasn’t until I worked on a church staff that I realized the very difficult job pastoring could be.
Those things behind the scenes (that no one knows about) can take a toll on those who are called to lead a church.
For instance, we know that pastors get calls in the middle of the night when a member family is in crisis. They are expected to be there for their members.
Pastors often have to play referee when there is conflict in the church and many experience discouragement because they feel like they are not doing a good enough job.
Oh ya, the new Covid argument – mask or no mask – has added a new dynamic to the conversation about live church services.
The job is demanding and sometimes it takes great faith to believe there will be enough money to pay the bills.
Pastoring a church is not for the faint of heart.
I remember when I left a corporate job and accepted a position at a church, a friend (naively) asked me, “So were you looking for a less stressful job?”
I busted out laughing because I understood that you have to work for a church to appreciate what it is like. And I wasn’t a pastor!
Pastors often hide their feelings when things are not ok. This is because they feel the need to put on a good front. After all, if they don’t have faith, how can they inspire others to believe?
Those of us who support the local church need to do our part to support those men who carry the pastoral burden.
5 Ways To Show Your Pastor Appreciation
1. Words of Encouragement
In the book, The Five Love Languages, Gary Chapman talks about showing love and appreciation simply by using words of affirmation.
Even people who have a different love language appreciate it when someone gives a heartfelt word of encouragement.
Take a few minutes and handwrite a note to your pastor. Share how he or she helped you and your family grow spiritually.
Give examples of times when he or she was there for you and may not have even known that his presence spoke volumes to you and your family.
Perhaps your pastor was there when your teenager was struggling. Let him know how important he or she is in your life.
Date and sign the note and I assure you he or she will keep it in a special place.
2. Gift of Food
If I learned anything while working on a church staff it is that people love to bless the pastors with food.
People like to spend time baking or cooking a meal, particularly during the holidays.
However, there is often an overload of these blessings and a pastor’s family is not able to enjoy the abundance that they are blessed with.
Change your thinking a bit and purchase them a dinner gift card. Ask their assistant what their favorite restaurant is and send them to dinner on you.
Be sure to include enough to cover taxes and a nice tip for the waitress.
3. Gift of Entertainment
Many pastors sacrifice financially and don’t have a lot of extras.
We all know how healthy it is to take a mental break. Help your pastor and his family enjoy a time of fun and laughter.
Find out what kind of entertainment your pastor and his family enjoy. Purchase a gift card to a local amusement park, an upcoming Christian concert, or a round of golf at the local course.
Give him the gift of spending time doing something he or she enjoys!
4. Gift of Babysitting
There are many young pastors who are raising small children.
If you are like me, you would be shocked to find out how much a teenager charges to care for children.
Give a gift of free babysitting so a pastor and his wife can go on a date – without the kids.
If you are able to, offer to keep the kids overnight and let them enjoy time together as a couple escaping those parental duties.
5. A Gift to Shop
Sometimes it is fun to shop and spend money needlessly.
Purchase a gift card for your pastor so he or she can buy that item that his budget doesn’t allow.
Find out what his favorite hobby is and find a gift card that allows him to shop for his favorite hobby supplies.
The holidays are coming up and an Amazon Gift card is something that allows them to purchase just about anything.
Or just put some cash in an envelope and let him spend as he or she sees fit.
Pastors Are Leaving
According to Lifeway Research, about 1% of pastors leave their roles each year. The reasons vary but the impact is great.
Take a few moments right now and make a plan to bless your pastor in some way. Let them know that they are appreciated and loved for their commitment to the call.
You never know, your kind gesture may be enough to keep them in the fight a little bit longer!