Our pastors (the clergy) need appreciation and encouragement. The official day of honoring pastors is the second Sunday in October. However, you get the whole Month of October to celebrate and appreciate them.
The elders who direct the affairs of the church well are worthy of double honor, especially those whose work is preaching and teaching. (1Timothy 5:17)
Free Up Your Pastor
Take inventory and notice the different jobs and responsibilities of your pastor. Find other people in the church that could do some of these things to free up the pastor. That way he can spend more time in God’s Word, his ministry, and with his family.
Church Member Video
Present a video to your pastor that is filled with appreciative messages from the church members.
His Favorite Ministry
Donate to your pastor’s favorite Christian organization.
Establish a scholarship fund for a seminary student in honor of your Pastor.
Ask members of the church to sign up for one day to pray for your pastor, so that he or she will be prayed for every day throughout the year. You will need to find a volunteer who will call people to remind them of the day that they committed to pray for him.
A Month of Meals
For the month of October, provide supper for the pastor’s family. Church members can sign up to provide supper for a certain night. They can provide a home cooked meal, bring over take out, have a pizza delivered, or give a restaurant gift certificate.
Send Your Pastor to a Pastor’s Conference
The church can pay for the pastor and spouse to attend an annual pastor's conference. This will give them a time to meet and share with other pastors and spouses. They will be strengthened, become more educated, grow spiritually, and have a renewed passion for their ministry.
Have a party for your pastor and present him or her with a money tree or have a card shower with dollars inside the cards.
Deliver donuts or pizza, when the pastors are at the church office working.
Give a Gift Certificate to Christianbook.com or a gift card to a restaurant.
Put together a bulletin board honoring your pastor and display it at church. You can include photos of your pastor’s history at the church and his childhood photos.
Put together a slide show presentation honoring your pastor. Surprise your pastor by showing it at the church service.
If you’re into scrap booking, you could make a scrap book or photo album for your pastor.
Respond to the Sermon
Really hear what your pastor is preaching and commit yourself to respond and apply what you’ve learned. If it makes a positive difference in your life, let your pastor know. He or she preaches for a reason and is encourage to find out that the church applies the teaching.
When the pastor is trying to recruit volunteers, show that you support his or her visions by volunteering. Commit to being an active participant in your church. Get involved by teaching a class, leading a workshop, singing in the choir, helping in the nursery.
Encourage the other church members to show their appreciation to the pastor. List ideas on bulletin inserts or fliers, or call people on the phone.
Prayer Time During the Service
Have a special prayer time for the pastor, during the worship service. Your church can pray for: personal needs, the family’s needs, spiritual life, leadership and ministry. Get detailed ideas from How to Pray for Your Pastor.
Meet a Need
If you see an area that can be improved, commit yourself to working on it. Tell the pastor that you want to volunteer to help meet that need of the church. Ask him or her for direction if you need to.
Preach about Pastor Appreciation
When the pastor is out of town, have someone preach about pastor appreciation. Provide a list of appreciation ideas to the congregation.
Invite a special guest to speak about your pastor, someone that your pastor loves and admires.
Use Your Skills
What skill can you share with the pastor? Maybe you could help upgrade the church computer or make a website for the church? Offer to give his or her car a free tune up. Provide free dental or medical treatment. Can you bake, sew, do yard work? Whatever skill you have, you can probably offer it to your pastor.
Honor Your Pastor in the Newspaper
Write a letter of appreciation about your pastor and send it to the local newspaper. Or, take out a newspaper advertisement that honors your pastor.
Honor Your Pastor on a Marquee
If you are a business owner, thank your pastor on your advertising marquee.
Hall of Fame
Create a pastor’s Hall of fame in your church.
Send a Prayer or Tribute
Take the time to write a personal prayer or a touching tribute and send it to your pastor.
Gift Card Tree
Get a small artificial Christmas tree. Ask the church members to buy gift cards to restaurants, bookstores, etc. and hang them from the tree
Ask Your Pastor
Tell your pastor that you want to help and ask how you can.
Give the Pastor a Raise
Discuss and pray with the church board about giving your pastor a raise or more benefits. Honor your pastor by paying him or her a reasonable salary. Does your pastor need medical benefits, days off, a retirement account, or a housing allowance? Financial concerns can be a big stress on a pastor’s family. Your pastor may find it difficult to ask for a raise or let the church know that he or she is having difficulty making ends meet with personal finances.
Honor your pastor with an appreciation ceremony and a cake. Or, you can have an ice cream social. Interview the pastor's family, friends, professors, and the past people in his or her life. Put all the stories together and write a tribute to the pastor. Read it at the appreciation ceremony.
Your church can collect donations for scholarship money so that your pastor can work on continuing his or her education.
Something for Your Pastors Hobby
Give your pastor a gift that encourages his or her hobby or personal interest. Give something that your pastor has talked about buying, but never spent the money on - like a gym membership.
Create a Pastoral Ministry Team
Form a team to help care for the mental, emotional, and spiritual health of your pastor. Make sure your pastor has a counselor or someone to confide in. Support your pastor through a personal crisis. Send your pastor to conferences for support and spiritual growth. Does your pastor have enough time to spend time with the Lord? Does your pastor need an accountability partner? Does your pastor need more family time? Does your pastor have realistic goals? Pastors can experience loneliness, stress, conflict, anger, depression, and temptation just like any other human. Make sure your pastor gets the help that he or she needs.
Tell your pastor that you are going to find the volunteers that he or she needs for a special event or outreach.
The youth group can make banners and decorations that express their love for their pastor.
Pray for Your Pastor
Get a special prayer group together to pray for your pastor and family.
Basket of Thank-Yous
Place an empty basket in your church that the members can fill with thank you notes, cards, and appreciation letters. Present it to your pastor at an appreciation ceremony.
Write Your Appreciation
Express your appreciation through a letter or card.
Do a Skit
Kids from the youth group can perform a skit at an appreciation party.
Tribute on YouTube
Make a video tribute to your pastor and play it on YouTube.
Give Your Pastor a Plaque
Order a plaque from a trophy store. You can honor your pastor for his or her service to your church for a certain number of years. Or, you can award a plaque to your pastor for all of the work that he or she did on a certain project.
Provide a testimony time during your service when the church members can share what they appreciate most about the pastor.
Throw a surprise party for your pastor. Give your pastor a special gift, and also gag gifts.
Plant a Tree
What is your pastor’s favorite type of tree? Plant a tree, on the church property, in honor of your pastor.
Honor His Name
Name something after your pastor. It can be a library in the church, a camp scholarship, a Christian foundation.
Sign the Journal
Buy a journal and pass it around the church. People can write about what they’ve learned from the pastor, how he or she has encouraged them and helped them, and how they appreciate the pastor. Then, present it to your pastor at an appreciation ceremony.
Recruit adults and kids from the youth group to clean at the pastor’s house. Make a list of jobs that need to be done. Ask the pastor to contribute jobs to the list, too. Volunteers can: wash and vacuum the car, mow the lawn, pull weeds, prune trees, clean the garage, wash the outside of the windows, put on a new roof, paint the house, split fire wood, baby sit that night while the pastor and spouse go out for dinner.
What homemade treats does your pastor love to eat? Pie? Fudge? Cookies? Cinnamon rolls? Make your pastor something good to eat?
Get a basket and fill it with items that your pastor would like: his or her favorite kind of music, a journal, a new book, favorite coffee, home baked treats, a gift card, and favorite snacks.
Encourage Your Kids
If you have kids, help them write a letter or make a card for their youth pastor or children’s church pastor.
Motivate the Church
Get the church people excited about Pastor Appreciation Month. Write about it in the church bulletin or print this list and distribute it to the congregation.