Clueless! That’s how many churches feel as they contemplate how to express gratitude to their cherished leaders for Pastor Appreciation Month each October. Diana Davis, author of Fresh Ideas for Women’s Ministry, offers her top ten suggestions.
10. Lots of letters
On Sunday before Pastor Appreciation Day, distribute stamped envelopes addressed to the pastor. An instruction note invites each church member to write and mail a personal note of encouragement and appreciation to the pastor this week.
9. Award t-shirt
Special order a “Best Pastor in _______” t-shirt, cap, or plaque, and present it with flourish.
8. Original art
Laminate bookmarks created by the children in your church, featuring their art and signatures. Allow kids to present the bookmarks to the pastor personally.
7. Church in a frame
Prepare a beautifully framed photo or painting of the church building. Even better: take a group photo of church members in front of the building. Use extra wide matting and ask every church member to sign the mat before adding glass.
6. Very merry commentary
Purchase a full set of Bible commentaries. Allow various groups, such as Bible classes, committees or church organizations, to present one book of the set, individually wrapped with their personal notes of appreciation on the inside pages.
Create a presentation of slides of the pastor(s) in action during the past year. Set it to music. Play it as a pre-service video.
4. Public thanks
Take out a full-page ad in your local newspaper, featuring a photo of your pastor and a declaration of your church’s love and appreciation. Even better: Add every member’s signature on the ad.
3. While you were out
Do a surprise office makeover, with the pastor’s wife’s input, of course. Hanover Baptist Church in Indiana surprised their pastor with a new home office while he was out of town, complete with paint, décor, furniture, and computer.
2. Million M&Ms
Think of one small thing your pastor enjoys – M&Ms, fishing lures, coffee, etc. Ask each member to bring that item on Sunday, i.e. one bag, any size, of M&Ms. Supply extras for guests or forgetful members.
1. Thirty days of appreciation
Use an October calendar to schedule volunteers for a month-long schedule of surprise treats. Each day of the month, the pastor will receive a surprise token of appreciation from a church member, committee or group within the church. The tributes will vary widely-a balloon delivery, a shoe shine, an apple pie, a gift. After a whole month of pleasant surprises, won’t your pastor feel appreciated?
And won’t God be honored by your acts of love for his servant? Don’t forget to include a sincere note with specific reasons you appreciate the minister’s spiritual leadership, dedication, time and commitment.
Honor God by honoring His servants, with a thoughtful, personalized encouragement that fits your unique church and pastor.
Free Download: pastor-appreciation-month-worksheet – as you look for ways to express appreciation to these faithful servants, use this simple worksheet as a guide. Have your pastor and/or ministry staff fill in the blanks.
Diana Davis is the author of Fresh Ideas for Women’s Ministry.