A pastors anniversary is an excellent time to show some extra
. It can also be a good opportunity to build unity around your church's ministry vision. And building unity will generate excitement and help launch your church forward into the next year.
Sidebar: The anniversary I am referring to here is not the pastor's wedding anniversary. I am using the idea to refer to his or her annual hire date anniversary. For ideas on what to do for a pastor and his wife on their anniversary, you might find these pages helpful:
pastor's wife gifts.
Hang a banner inside, outside, or both to announce your Pastors Anniversary Celebration.
So, just to summarize, your pastor's anniversary is a good chance to:
Build unity around your church's ministry vision.
Generate excitement about the future of your church.
There are many things to do for your pastor's anniversary. You can do something as simple as sending a card. Or you can plan a major celebration.
But I would like to encourage you and your church to consider using your pastor's annual anniversary in a unique way.
The pastor's anniversary might just be the perfect time to reflect on the past and paint a vision of your church's future.
Start by selecting a
pastors anniversary theme.
Then develop some creative pastor's
. To help you brainstorm, look at some
pastor appreciation ideas
for more help. You could also include a
pastors anniversary speech
in your event or service. And to announce your special service or celebration, don't forget a
pastor anniversary banner.
My Pastor Appreciation Workbook has nearly everything you will need to brainstorm, plan, and execute your Pastor Anniversary event. It includes a planning worksheet, ideas, posters, a bulletin cover, children's activity sheets, and much more. Learn more here!
Why Is Your Pastor's Anniversary So Important?
A pastor's anniversary is often overlooked or under-utilized. Researchers know that humans need mental landmarks to help them make sense out of life.
Landmarks are easily recognizable objects along the road that help keep us traveling in the right direction. Landmarks are points of reference so that we know where to turn right...where to stop: "Turn right at the McDonalds, then get on the highway just past the bank."
Mental landmarks do the same thing along the road of life. They help us know when we are off track, when we need to do a U-turn, when to keep going, and when to stop and rest.
Birthdays, graduations, weddings, funerals, baby dedications or baptisms...they each give us opportunities to:
Celebrate the past;
Assess where we are now;
Plan for the future.
Organizations Need Landmarks Too
Annual meetings, the company picnic, a Christmas party, annual employment reviews, monthly reports...these are all organizational landmarks.
Churches are also organizations that need landmarks to celebrate the past, assess where they are now, and plan for the future.
Can Congregational Meetings Be Used As Landmarks? In my experience these meetings tend to be overly focused on budgets and buildings...furniture and finances. It's hard to build excitement when the first half of the meeting is consumed by questions of pay raises, vehicle maintenance, and parsonage upkeep.
Can the Church's Anniversary Be Used As a Landmark? The annual anniversary of the date the church first started worship services is important. It should be celebrated. But I think that there is more value in focusing your primary attention on the pastors anniversary. The church's history includes things that may take the spotlight off your current and future ministry if you make the church's anniversary your primary landmark.
For instance, your church's history may include:
- A split
- Pastoral failure
- Denominational problems
- Doctrinal disagreement
- Episodes of church discipline
- Serious conflict
Plus, assuming your church is more than five years old, not everyone shares that history. New people have started attending who didn't experience what others did. However, even if your pastor has been at your church for 20 years, everyone in the church shares a unifying theme: your pastor and the particular vision he has for your ministry.
So, in my opinion, the pastor's anniversary is the perfect time to celebrate the past, assess where you are now, and plan for the future.
What exactly would this look like? How do you go about planning such a celebration? Start by choosing a pastors
. And if you need one, write a pastors anniversary
as a tribute to your pastor.
And turn your pastors anniversary into an annual celebration that gets everyone excited!
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