25 Creative Ways to Appreciate Your Pastor~ Way 25
Now we urge you, brothers and sisters, to acknowledge those who work hard among you, who care for you in the Lord and who admonish you. Hold them in the highest regard in love because of their work.
1 Thessalonians 5:12,13
Before I started writing this series, “31 Ways to Appreciate Your Pastor”, I wrote out 31 topics- 1 for each day of the 31 Day challenge. But my ideas have gone in a different direction than what I originally intended.
That being said, it would seem incomplete to write an entire series on ways to appreciate your pastor without including creative ideas to appreciate him (and his family!). So, for Way 25, here are 25 creative ways to appreciate your pastor. Some are gifts that have been given to us. Others are shared from fellow pastor’s wives. The rest are just some fun ideas to encourage you to be creative.
1. Growing up, our churches celebrated Pastor Appreciation Month by hosting “Harvest Home”. We lived in the country and many in our congregation were farmers. On one particular Sunday each year, they would set up shelves in the front of the sanctuary and fill the shelves with bushel baskets of fruits and vegetables. My sisters and I loved it when they would include special cereal or cookies (we knew those were for US!). Each year they tried to out do themselves. My mom would can food for weeks afterwards and it would last all winter long. We loved it!
2. Invite the pastor’s family over for dinner or out for lunch. Sometimes they need to be pursued!
3. Invite the pastor and his family to share in a tradition that your family has. One of my favorites was joining a family when they would do a meal in the woods around a campfire. We also loved being included in annual Easter celebrations, Memorial day picnics and Christmas parties.
4. I think our favorite Christmas surprise to date was about five years ago. The church did a “Twelve Days of Christmas” activity for us. It started on a Wednesday night: the church sang us a version of the song and presented us with a large Christmas card, which we still have and get out at Christmas. When you open it, it yells something like “Merry Christmas” and is signed by many of our members. Every day for twelve days (except Sunday-they did that one at church), a few folks from our church came to our home, sang the next verse of the song and brought us that number of gifts. (First day of Christmas, one card, second day, two of something (I don’t remember what!), third day, three nutcrackers, etc.) We ended up with several strands of lights, fruitcake, poinsettias, etc. For different days. It became a game for us during those days to guess what type of Christmas items would come the next day, and the work put into it meant more than the gifts themselves. ~a fellow pastor’s wife
5. If your pastor has young children, offer to take the kids home with you after church one Sunday. It is a gift that we have been given many times over and is an incredible blessing.
6. Make an extra meal and drop it off at your pastor’s house just because (a little warning is good!). You never know how you might bless your pastor’s family when they need it the most.
7. For your pastor’s wife~ buy a large bouquet of roses and give a rose to each woman in the church on a Sunday morning (if you have a large congregation, you might want to do this with a small group instead!). At some point during the morning, encourage the women to give their rose to the pastor’s wife and thank her specifically for one thing they appreciate about her. Our first church did this and it was really special!
8. Find out your pastor’s family “favorites” and then surprise them every once in awhile. My husband shared in a sermon one time that he considers cut flowers to be the “gift of death”. Ever since then, I have been given flowers for my birthday, because all of the ladies felt bad for me (it was the best sermon illustration he ever used!). My husband loves coffee, so he frequently has coffee brought to him. We feel so appreciated when we know people have taken the time to know us.
9. For my husband’s 30th birthday, he was given 30 gifts of 30. For example, 30 tubes of toothpaste, 30 packs of Oreos, etc. (It took us two years to use all the toothpaste up!). ~a fellow pastor’s wife
10. Put together a photo album of pictures from church events and give it to your pastor.
11. Surprise your pastor and his wife with movie tickets AND free babysitting. If your pastor has young children, this gift is GOLD!
12. Last year, we had someone give our family a gift certificate to go eat at a place that is usually too expensive for us to go to. That was so much fun for our entire family. ~a fellow pastor’s wife
13. Last year, the church got together and arranged a surprise birthday party for my husband at a local restaurant- the restaurant opened specifically for our church (they are open for breakfast and lunch). A big portion of our church showed up to eat dinner, and they had a cake for him. It was my job to get him there without ruining the surprise, and I think the fact that people took time out of their schedule on his birthday to be there meant more to him than a pile of gifts. ~a fellow pastor’s wife
14. Do special things for your pastor’s kids. Remember that most pastors don’t have family close by, so the church becomes their extended family. I remember a man who asked my parents what kind of soda my sisters and I enjoyed. Every once in awhile, he would show up with cases of Coke, Root beer and orange soda. We loved it! My kids have been blessed as well and it makes our hearts happy to know that they are well loved!
15. For the entire month of October, leave out a box for your pastor(s) and encourage members to drop off gifts/cards throughout the month. Our second church did this and it was always so fun to see what would be in the box each Sunday!
16. Have members sign up for a week or month out of the year to be their week or month to encourage the pastor. Ongoing appreciation goes a long way!
17. When we moved to Rochester, our church prepared welcome bags for everyone in our family. In addition to brochures and coupons for area attractions, they gave us a membership to the zoo. Not only did we quickly fall in love with our church family, we also fell in love with Western New York!
18. One year at Christmas, we were asked to set aside a specific night in December. On that night, we were given a card with a Bible reference to give us a hint as to whose house we were supposed to go to, and we were sent on a progressive dinner. At the last house (dessert), many of the host families gathered there to eat dessert with us and wish us a Merry Christmas. ~a fellow pastor’s wife
19. Offer to do a midweek grocery run! This is especially helpful when a pastor’s family adds a baby to the mix.
20. We were at a church one time, the church gave the Pastor a gift certificate for a new suit and his wife one to a ladies clothing store. I thought that was so sweet of them. ~a fellow pastor’s wife
21. Distribute quilt squares to members and have them personalize them. Then sew the squares together and present it to your pastor as a keepsake.
22. Ask your pastor if he has a “wants to read” list. Most pastors will have an extensive list and will feel appreciated if you buy them a book on their list.
23. If you have an activity that you love to do, invite your pastor to come along.
24. Help out with a home improvement project.
25. Bombard your pastor with cards, letters, texts or emails during one week of the year. Change it up so that he is surprised.
If your pastor is anything like mine, he will appreciate your tokens of appreciation more than you know, so be creative and have fun appreciating your pastor!
Way 25: Find creative ways to appreciate your pastor.