Ideas to honor your pastor this month
The profession of pastoring has incredible rewards, and yet it is one of the most stressful jobs. Last month, Pete Wilson of the megachurch CrossPoint admitted what most pastors often feel, “I’m not okay. I’m tired. I’m broken.”
While pastors have one of the highest job satisfaction rates, Forbes magazine sites the profession as one of the toughest jobs. Many pastors are also overworked, underpaid, and under appreciated.
October is Pastor Appreciation month. This is much different than national donut day, or twin day. The month allows you as an individual to demonstrate God’s mercy and compassion on your pastor.
Here are a few ideas that can get your juices going:
Pastor appreciation ideas
Under a $100
Top selling books from Amazon. Every pastor is a secret book geek. When we first started in ministry, we thought we would spend most of our hours hiding in a dark room, sitting on a leather chair, under a lamp, reading ancient books and preparing for sermons. Encourage your pastor to read some of the top selling books from a wide range of topics.
Here are five books on my suggestion list:
- The Advantage by Patrick M. Lencioni
- Good to Great by Jim Collins
- Uninvited by Lysa TerKeurst
- Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis by J.D. Vance
- Jesus Feminist by Sarah Bessey
- Love Warrior by Glennon Doyle Melton
Remember the children and spouse
Unlike most professions, the pastor often attends work with their kids and spouse. This can be stressful and provide difficult challenges. Most ministry families believe they are doing ministry, hence the sacrifices. Remember to get a gift that could include the whole family like tickets to a sports game, or restaurant gift card.
What’s their love language?
Do know your pastors love language? If their love language is “words of affirmation” you may want to give them a public presentation. However, if their love language is “physical touch” perhaps a one-hour stress reducing massage (with a professional therapist) would be beneficial.
Book of memories or slide show
You could create a book of memories that share how the pastor has influenced the lives of the church. Ask church members to send a short paragraph on how the pastor made a hospital visit, baptized your love one, or prayed for you. Compile the stories and pictures in a scrapbook.
Create a bulletin board of thanks
I am sure you have many unused cork boards hanging on your churches. Post a few pictures of the pastor and ask members to tack on post-it notes answer three questions.
Here are some questions you can ask people to complete:
I will never forget with pastor…
I love his/her sermons when they…
I appreciate his/her spouse because…
I am so thankful when Pastor…
Invite them to dinner at your house
There is nothing like a home cooked meal. Each year, Marty and Katina would invite our entire family over for a meal. Katina knew I loved fettuccine alfredo, and biscuits and gravy; she would give me a choice each year on what I wanted for dinner. After ten years of pastor appreciation meals, we always looked forward to every October.
Send them a frozen meal
There have been many times when both my wife and I had to attend a church meeting together. It was always convenient to have a frozen meal we could pull out for the babysitter to prepare.
Babysit the kids
Give the pastor and spouse a night out on the town and volunteer to watch the kids for a few hours. This has been one of the greatest gifts we received in ministry.
Take their car and get an oil change
I will never forget when someone took my car out for a few hours and got an oil change and car wash. This is an inexpensive way of showing gratitude.
We are always looking for interesting articles for continuing-ed, and stories for sermons. Get your pastor a subscription to a magazine. Here are some magazine subscriptions I have, or wish I had:
Board games for the whole family
This actually comes in handy when the pastor has members visiting. Here are some of our favorite games:
I hope this will get you started on affirming and encouraging your pastor.
Kumar Dixit, D.Min, is the Chaplain of WGTS 91.9 Radio.