According to Hallmark, Clergy Appreciation Month (aka Pastor Appreciation Month) started in 1992 “with a mission of uplifting and encouraging pastors, missionaries, and religious workers.”1 I don’t know about you, but I think it was long overdue.
Pastors provide much-needed spiritual nourishment. They constantly show love. They lead the flock through the good times and the bad. And it’s easy to forget they need encouragement, too—and not just for one month of the year.
Here are six ways to do just that! The first three ways are from a pastor, and the second three are from a pastor’s wife.
1. Give positive feedback.
This doesn’t mean saying, “Great message, Pastor!” when you don’t mean it or tossing out that compliment at the end of every service like a “Bless you!” after someone sneezes.
But how often do we think, “Wow, that was powerful. I’m so thankful Pastor preached that,” and we never say it?
If you can’t truthfully say it was a great message, you can still be an encourager: tell your pastor “Thank you for studying for that message” or share something the Lord taught you.
2. Be excited, involved, and faithful.
Picture looking out at a half-empty sanctuary or stepping up to preach, only to be greeted by people who look like they’d rather be just about anywhere else.
Now imagine the opposite: a larger crowd than usual, looks of earnest attention, and joy at being in God’s house.
(Obviously this won’t look quite the same if you’re not attending in person, but you can still be a huge blessing by being faithful and involved. If there’s a question asked on the live stream, answer. If there are visitors watching, make them feel welcome. You get the idea.)
3. Don’t only pray for your pastor—tell them you’re praying.
There’s something uniquely uplifting about being told “I’m praying for you” and knowing it’s the truth.
4. Acknowledge your pastor’s birthday and their “pastorversary” at your church.
If you can, plan for your whole church to acknowledge and celebrate these days. And even if your church already does something, sending your pastor an individual note of thanks or a birthday card helps make those days even more special.
5. Send cards of encouragement here and there when it’s a busy season, and maybe a gift card too.
This one’s both self-explanatory and really easy, with all the options for electronic greeting cards and digital gift cards. Here’s an idea: set a goal for yourself to make sure you don’t accidentally go from one Pastor Appreciation Month to the next without doing anything in between. For example, “I will send Pastor a note of encouragement or gift card three times this year.” Then, add it to your calendar so you get a reminder.
6. Throw a surprise pastor-appreciation pie social after church.
Who doesn’t like a surprise party? Feel free to sub this out for whatever would make your pastor smile the biggest and work best for your church. It’s the thought that counts!
What ideas do you have for appreciating your pastor year-round? Share below!
And if you’re looking for a Pastor Appreciation Month gift, check out Logos digital gift cards or beautiful books with free shipping from Lexham Press.