October is Pastor Appreciation Month. Your pastors do so much for you, your church, and your community. How do you show them that you appreciate their ministry and encourage them to continue?
A pastor recently told me, “I work with so many young men and women, and it’s all so consumer-driven . . . I think they forget that they can bless me too.”
You don’t have to wait until Pastor Appreciation Month or Pastor Appreciation Day (October 10 this year) to do nice things for your pastor. In fact, you shouldn’t. Your pastor’s goal isn’t to earn your appreciation, but few things are more encouraging than genuine gratitude and visible representations of God’s love.
If your pastoral staff has one or two pastors that receive a lot of recognition for the work they do, consider seeking out the pastors who work behind the scenes to honor them too.
Here are seven practical ways to care for your pastor.
1. Ask how you can pray for them
Pastors pray for the people in their congregation all the time. How often do you think a meeting with a pastor ends with, “Can you pray for me?” or “Let me pray for you.”?
Prayer is a powerful gift. Asking your pastor how to pray for them shows genuine concern for their well-being and spiritual health. It’s a reminder that we’re all part of the body of Christ, and they aren’t in this alone.
No matter how wise or spiritual your pastor is, they can always use more prayer.
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You could even take a minute to pray for your pastor right now.
2. Offer to babysit—for free!
If your pastor has a young family, there’s no such thing as a day or night off. When you’re emotionally, mentally, and spiritually exhausted, your family only gets the leftovers.
Give your pastor an evening (or a weekend!) away from the kids so they can spend time alone or with their spouse, and come back ready to counsel, lead, and love their family and their church.
You could even involve older youth-group kids and make it a meaningful serving opportunity for them as well.
While I was volunteering at a Christian camp, one of the greatest ways the volunteer team could bless each other was by spending time with each other’s kids. For people in more central leadership roles, it removed the added weight of feeling like their ministry was a burden to their spouse and it gave them a moment to breath without screaming kids.
3. Send them on a date
When you love your work, it’s easy to get caught up in it. When your work involves constantly being available to people, it’s even easier.
Send your pastor on a special date with their spouse. Next to God, it’s the relationship that will restore and bless them the most.
Note: This may also require you to refer to #2.
4. Do the jobs they can’t find time for
Whether you have specialized skills or not, there’s probably something you could do around your pastor’s house to serve and bless them. It certainly wouldn’t hurt to ask.
If your pastor doesn’t have a big project around the house that needs to get done, there are always lawns to be mowed, cars to be washed, weeds to be pulled, and other maintenance work people don’t always have time for. Even if you spend less than an hour actually working, the gesture shows your pastor that you care enough about them to make personal sacrifices for them.
The nastier the job, the more they’ll feel the love.
5. Bake for them
Nothing says “thank you” like a big plate of cookies.
Baking something for your pastor or church staff shows premeditated appreciation. You gathered the ingredients (or went out and bought the box) and you took the time to bake it, all with the intention of giving it to them.
If you can bring your baked goods to the church office, all the better. You’re providing your pastor with a tasty reminder of the people they are serving when they’re hard at work.
6. Give them Logos Bible Software
Pastors spend hours each week digging through the Bible. To be the best pastors they can be, pastors have to get back to the sources of Scripture, interpret it in context, and see its connections to other texts, other passages, and life today.
Logos Bible Software performs hours of Bible study in seconds. It’s like having a personal research assistant that can instantly search thousands of books to find what you’re looking for. That means your pastor can search a passage of Scripture and find hundreds of references to it all at once. They can read commentaries side by side with Scripture and dive into Greek or Hebrew texts to find unique insights into each passage.
If you’re a pastor, the world’s leading Bible software is a tool you need. Logos saves you time and helps you get more out of your Bible study.
7. Spend time with them outside of church
Pastors spend all kinds of time with people at church. But that all comes back to that “consumer-driven” environment, where pastors can feel like they’re constantly pouring themselves out but not being poured into.
Ask your pastor to hang out outside of church sometime. Be prepared that they may already have a very full calendar (in which case, it may be better to refer to ideas #1–6).
Depending on how well you know your pastor, you may want to go to a movie, take a hike, grab coffee or a meal, or hang out at a park. If you know your pastor well enough, you could even plan a combined family outing like a picnic.
Asking your pastor to spend time with you outside of church shows them you aren’t interested in a transactional relationship. It means you appreciate them as a person, and you want to be their friend.
What are some ways you’ve shown your pastors you appreciate them? Tell us in the comments!