For many pastors, life revolves around the church. Though you may only see your pastor once or twice a week during worship, pastoral duties often extend far beyond the preparation and delivery of sermons. Your pastor may spend hours praying for churchgoers and their loved ones each day, and lead Bible studies, conduct weddings and provide individual or marital counseling throughout the rest of the week. A good pastor commits his life to serving others, and he demonstrates his love for the heavenly Father by loving you and your community.
October is Pastor Appreciation month. If your heart leads you to show gratitude on this day, honor your pastor with words, acts or gifts of appreciation like the ones listed below.
A pastor holds the weight of many loved one's secrets in his heart, and at times he may worry he's not doing enough to help. Pastors may also feel discouraged after a sermon that doesn't seem to impact the church or a counseling session where the participant admits they're losing faith in a higher power. A leather-bound encouragement journal may help your pastor remember that his work is appreciated, even if it doesn't always seem to have a positive impact.
You can create an encouragement journal on your own or ask the church for help. Fill each page with kind words, such as "we believe in you" or "we are thankful for you." You and other church members may find it helpful to include some encouraging verses that remind your pastor his efforts are never wasted. One good verse for this is 1 Corinthians 15:58, which states "Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain."
Thank your pastor for his services, and personalize your gratitude with a specific example of a sermon or action of his that improved your life. Let him know that a family member he prayed for is doing better now, or describe how a sermon helped you become more mindful of your actions. Let him know what you like about his sermons, such as how they are relatable for all ages or how they always end with actionable steps you can take throughout the week.
Pastors work tirelessly to improve the lives of families in your community, but they need time with their own families, too. Surprise your pastor with a generous gift card for a restaurant or hotel so he can spend quality time with his loved ones. If you feel comfortable doing so, offer to babysit his children during a date night, or provide funds for childcare.
Many churchgoers ask their pastors to pray for them, but do you pray for your pastor? If so, do you do it regularly?
Your pastor might never know about your prayers, but praying for him still shows you appreciate his role. Pray that he and his family remain protected by God's love, or pray that he delivers sermons that speak to the hearts of the church. Think about his life and any challenges he may face, and pray for him and his loved ones based on those beliefs.
Pastors work hard to keep the church running smoothly, care for church members and deliver helpful sermons that reflect God's views. Show your pastor his hard work never goes unnoticed by honoring him this month — or any time you feel compelled to show gratitude.