October is pastor Appreciation Month. While we are thankful for our past, present, and future pastors in the General Conference, we appreciate the reminder to bless and care for our pastors this month.
Here are 9 practical ways that you can thank your pastor this month but whatever you do show your appreciation for the pastor and their family.
1. Say “thank you.”
The most straightforward thing is sometimes the most overlooked. Whether you stop them in the hallway to say thank you or write a card that is delivered to their house, be sure to regularly pray for and thank your pastor (and their family) for the work that they do.
2. Give a gift card.
Some churches are blessed with the resources to have expense accounts for pastors to use when they meet members for lunches or coffee. Many pastors, however, pay for these meals out of their pocket. You can bless your pastor by giving them gift cards to local restaurants or coffee shops they frequent.
3. Provide their family a meal.
You can arrange meals for the pastor and his family. Every family in the church chose a day or two of the month to deliver a meal or a gift card to the pastor. Instead of spending time cooking, the pastor’s wife can spend time playing with her three little kids.
4. Provide funds for a fun family day.
Families all across the country are headed to pumpkin patches and apple orchards for fun family activities this fall. Call your local business and get an estimate for what it would cost for your pastor‘s family to have a fun fall day, and then gift them money for that purpose. In the winter, you could gift your pastor’s family a trip to the ice skating rink. In the summer, a trip to the water park. When family budgets get tight, things like this are often the first to get cut. Be generous to your pastor’s family and provide for a fun family day.
5. Indulge their love of sports.
Does your pastor enjoy a particular sport or sports team? You can give your pastor a pair of tickets to a sporting event or a gift card to a ticket distributor such as Ticket Master or Stub Hub so he can purchase the tickets himself.
6. Have your child draw a picture.
Part of being a parent is cultivating a heart of thankfulness in your children. This is a great opportunity to talk about how your family is thankful for your pastor. Your child can write or draw a thank you card to the Children’s pastor and your teen can write a thank you card to his or her Student pastor.
7. Give them a book.
One of the characteristics of a good pastor is that they love to learn. Many pastors love to buy books, but as any book lover will tell you, it’s an expensive habit. You can bless your pastor by helping them build their library with a gift card to a local Christian bookstore or online book distributor. Another way to bless your pastor throughout the year is to buy your pastor a copy of any book you buy.
8. Provide lawn care.
In the fall, leaves are falling in mass quantities in many parts of the country, and in the summer, rain makes the grass grow faster than it can be mowed. Why not hire a lawn service for your pastor‘s family or schedule a day to rake leaves at their home with your Sabbath School class or small group. In the winter, you can clear the snow from their driveway, and in the spring you can provide flowers or plants for their yard. By helping your pastors with their yard, you are actually giving the gift of time – time to spend with their family and friends.
9. Give a gift to their children.
Pastor’s kids grow up under a magnifying glass. In fact, a survey I read showed that 30% of pastors believe ministry is a hazard to their children. The first way you can bless the pastor is by showing their children grace. By loving their family as they are, without expectations of how you think they should be, you are blessing them and showing them God’s love. Next, talk to your pastor about how you can bless their children. Is there a toy that they want? Is their a movie they want to see? You could partner with others and redo the kids bedrooms or build a tree fort in the backyard. Bless your pastor’s family, and you will bless your pastor.