Pastors are precious. I know my pastor is precious and I know your pastor is precious too! October is Pastor Appreciation Month so how can we make a month to remember?
My top 10 (COVID friendly) Pastor Appreciation Ideas:
This may not be the year to have an all-church ya’ll come public appreciation event but let’s not allow that to stop us in showing appreciation to our pastors!
- Find out what would ACTUALLY bless them. Use this worksheet/survey to find out more about your pastor (and DO NOT buy them a Bible or bible themed trinket unless they expressly ask for one!). You can send this via email or interview them on Facebook Live to build momentum among members and those who have become interested in your church during COVID shutdown. Great opportunity to allow people to get to know your pastor as a real person and invite others into the appreciation process.
- Create a “blessing a day” calendar on a site like SignUpGenius. Everyone in your congregation can sign up for a day of blessing. Some people can make meals, others can babysit to give the pastor and his wife a date night out. Others can provide the gift card for dinner and a movie. Someone can wash the car or mow the grass or load them up to be the best trick or treating house in the whole neighborhood.
- Build out your pastor’s library. Have them create an Amazon wish list of books they’d like to have. Then share the Wish List with individuals and groups in the church. You could include an office or study makeover as part of this. Kids in the church could participate by making book marks with blessings on them tucked into every book.
- Host on online appreciation event where people get to speak words of appreciation and affirmation over the pastor. Invite people to prepare with a story, a verse of scripture and a prayer. Ask them to plan their comments and keep their blessing to under 2 minutes to allow for lots of participation. You could easily do this on Facebook live but if you wanted to keep it more private, I recommend using Zoom.
- Write letters – lots of them. We have what Paul wrote to Timothy but what might Timothy have written to Paul. How might your pastor be blessed to know how your faith has been formed and your life transformed by his consistent teaching, shepherding, counsel and care? What if each family in the church wrote a letter and mailed it to arrive in the month of October?
- Give your pastor and his family a real vacation. If you’ve heard of Make a Wish then you’ll get the idea here. Let your pastor’s family dream big about somewhere they’d like to go, something they’d like to do or see. Get together and figure out how to make it happen. Even if the promise is for next summer, that’s okay. The joy of making it happen and getting ready to cover all the bases while they’re gone, will be a gift to the whole body of believers.
- Fund your pastor’s kids’ education. Yes, really. Twelve family’s could each take on the expense of one month or 50 families could each take on the expense of one week. It’s a math problem but its a math problem you have the capacity to solve.
- Go public with your praise. This idea isn’t for everyone so be sure your pastor is a word of affirmation, “I’m okay being praised in public,” kind of person. I have seen full page spreads in local newspapers celebrating a particular pastor. Some are signed by every member of a congregation and others feature pictures of the people holding thank you signs to God for their pastor. Your local paper could use the ad revenue support and your pastor would be honored (even if also a little embarrassed) by all the fuss. It is a great way to allow the community to see how much we love one another and it allows them to see the congregation.
- BOLO: be on the look out. Do the gutters on the pastor’s house need cleaning? Does the yard need a “curbside appeal” update? Could the pastor’s car use a good wash and wax? What needs doing it? Ask permission and then just do it.
- Looking for something easy? Hold a Gift Card Shower. Yes, its a thing. After your pastor has filled out the worksheet/survey described in #1. you can let everyone in your church know which gift cards are preferred and then you can shower your pastor with gifts cards – all at once or every day of the month! There are lots of creative ways to deliver gift cards – individually or as a crop (Pinterest is loaded with Gift Card bouquet examples). Have fun with it and share in the joy of blessing a pastor through whom God is blessing you every day.