Use these pastor appreciation ideas to spark your creativity!
Scroll down to the form to tell us about your pastor appreciation ideas. What has your church done in the past?
Flood your pastor's mailbox with cards. Choose a week and get the word out quietly...this pastor appreciation idea works best if it's a surprise. You could choose a week that you know will be especially difficult for your pastor. Or, flood his mailbox while he is away on vacation or at a conference so that he is welcomed home by an avalanche of greetings.
Plan a special appreciation service on the second weekend of October. October is the official pastor appreciation month. And most churches try to focus their celebrations on the second Sunday of the month.
Work with your worship leader to brainstorm pastor appreciation ideas in order to create a memorable service. Sing pastor appreciation songs, read appropriate Scripture passages, select a few individuals to share a tribute to the pastor.
Toward the conclusion of the service, allow your pastor some time to respond.
Take a look at these pastor appreciation ideas submitted by our readers. They were all entered into our 2009 Pastor Appreciation Contest.
Plan a beach party or bonfire. Use these pastor appreciation ideas only if this is something your pastor enjoys... if he hates bugs and picnics...you might want to come up with other pastor appreciation ideas!
Have a plaque made with an inscription such as,
In Deepest Appreciation of
[Pastor's Name] and [His or Her] Family
for Sacrificial Service to the Body of Jesus Christ at
You may also want to see these other pastor appreciation ideas for gifts.
Make a signature quilt. Nancy O. from Nevada submitted this great suggestion. She used this idea in her own church when her pastor retired. Nancy gathered some religious-themed fabric and cut it into squares. Then she had people in the congregation sign each square and then sewed them into a quilt. She states that the signatures helped people feel a part of the process. She warns, however, to not use sharpie or other normal pens or markers. The ink will just bleed through the fabric. Instead, use pens specifically designed for fabric.
Plan a special banquet. Invite a guest speaker and prepare a program that fits the personality of your pastor. A "This Is Your Life" DVD or celebrity-style roast are two of many pastor appreciation ideas you could include.
I would also suggest a caution, at this point. It may be tempting to have one banquet for the Senior Pastor and a separate celebration for the Worship Pastor or the Youth Pastor. While I would encourage the Worship Team and/or the Youth Group to use separate events separate pastor appreciation ideas for their pastoral leaders, there should be one main event where all the pastors are recognized together.
This will help the congregation see that no matter the particular emphasis of a pastor, each of the pastors is a minister to the entire congregation. It also helps the associate pastor(s) feel
part of the whole church rather than just their particular department.
Give a big gesture. Large gifts are not necessary...simple things often have the same affect as high-priced items. But when considering pastor appreciation ideas, we have to include the extravagant.
Send the family to Disneyworld or the couple on a cruise.
One year my wife received airfare to visit a friend she hadn't seen in years.
Membership at the local golf or health club might also be appropriate.
What has your pastor dreamed of doing that he never really considered possible? Would he like to tour the holy land, Israel? Or would he rather read a book on a beach in Aruba?
Perhaps he's always wanted to return to graduate school and earn his Doctorate...can you afford a scholarship?
You may want to also see these other pastor appreciation ideas for gifts.
If you have a Youth Pastor, have everyone involved with the Youth Group wear matching T-shirts to a service. The shirts could have a big picture of the Youth Pastor, or they could have a funny saying on them...
...Email me your pastor appreciation ideas for T-shirts...see the "contact me" form at the bottom of this page.
Send a pastor appreciation letter to the people in your church explaining what Clergy Appreciation Month is all about. Include an offering envelope for a special appreciation offering.
You might want to include a reference to this site in your letter: www.my-pastor.com so that they can develop and implement more pastor appreciation ideas.
Pastors feel appreciated when their families are cared for. Take the pastor's kids to a water park. Or pick them up and go out for bowling and pizza. Take the kids shopping for school supplies before the start of school in the Fall. Upgrade the family computer or pay for high speed internet access.
Scroll down to the form to tell us about your pastor appreciation ideas. What has your church done in the past?
Adopt a child. Have seniors "adopt" each of the pastor's kids. The adopted parents or grandparents would commit to pray daily for their adoptee, send them birthday cards and Christmas presents.
A senior in my church intentionally seeks one of my daughters out each Sunday. This grandpa gives my daughter a hug and asks her how her week went. She feels special without being self-conscious.
Make repairs to or paint the pastor's house. Some pastors are skilled at home projects. Some are skilled and enjoy home projects. Some just enjoy home projects. Then there are pastors like me...I'm neither skilled at nor do I enjoy home projects.
Depending on which category your pastor falls into he might be very grateful for help around his house or yard.
Give your pastor and his family an extra weekend off to visit friends or family. This is one of those very special pastor appreciation ideas.
If you think about it, pastors generally don't have the flexibility to travel for a weekend get-away to see family and friends. Most families take short weekend trips several times a year, especially over holidays.
However, because pastors generally work six days a week and, of course, work weekends, short trips are not possible. When they do have a day or two off, it is usually during the week...when their friends and family members are working.
Because of this, Pastors normally have to take vacation time to visit people out of town. So when it comes to spending time on vacation, a pastor's family has to choose between seeing people they haven't visited for a year, or going on a "real" family vacation.
By giving your pastor an extra weekend or two off a year, you allow him to enjoy spending time with friends he rarely sees. That benefits his family. But it will also benefit you and your church.
Give your pastor a cell phone and pay the monthly charges.
I would encourage you, though, to not publish his cell phone number. Let him choose who he wants to give the number to.
But please don't take offense if he doesn't give you his number...or if he uses caller ID and screens his calls. It in no way means that he doesn't want to be available to you. He does...his home and office numbers are probably published in several places.
You probably have a cell phone. You did OK without it. People just understood that they needed to call you at home or work. As such, they didn't usually call unless they had something to say. But when you got your cell phone, over time people began calling you more frequently.
That's not a problem for you or me. But our pastors have (on average) 100 people who each think of themselves as their pastor's friend, employer, and ministry partner. As people go about their day, an idea or thought hits them. Normally they would wait until the next meeting or service to talk to the pastor. But since he has a cell phone...you get the idea.
Pastors do want your ideas and thoughts. They do want you to be involved. And they do want you to know that they are available for you. But there needs to be a balance. A cell phone is an essential tool for pastors. However, he needs to be allowed to control it or phone calls will overwhelm him.
Purchase the phone...pay for the service. Call him if you want to. Just remember that you are one of 100 people he is ministering to.
Upgrade your pastor's office Churches, because of restricted budgets, notoriously have out of date office machines. It is very frustrating to have to take the bulletin to Kinko's on Saturday because the church copier is broken again.
Other pastor appreciation ideas for his office: a plain paper fax machine, a scanner, at least two telephone lines, a folding machine (unless you'd rather volunteer to fold the bulletin, calendar, bulletin inserts, mailings, etc.), a shredder, a business printer, high speed internet access, and a computer (his choice of either a laptop or desktop) that is upgraded annually with both new hardware and software.
Many churches won't be able to do all these things. But think small steps. You can get a shredder for $15. You might be able to lease a copier for a low monthly fee. And eBay is a great source for other office machines.
Give tickets for sporting events, concerts, a play, or even the annual boat show.
When we lived in Dallas the annual State Fair was something our whole family looked forward to. If you live near such an event, you might buy two-day passes for the family.
Pastors are people too...well...some must be angels given that they put up with us! As humans, they enjoy going out for a relaxing evening to a favorite event. But income limitations often prevent this. That's what makes this a perfect pastor appreciation idea.
Concerts, sporting events, or other similar outings are extra special things that a pastor's family can look forward to and remember for a long time.
Be sure to think about the composition of your pastor's family. Does he have young children? Does he have teenagers? Or is his nest empty? If he has young children, it is helpful if you can give them the gift of two events: one for the entire family and one for the pastor and spouse.
Don't forget to provide for babysitting if that will be necessary.
Show your appreciation to your pastor's children too. Preachers Kids have a unique lifestyle that can only be understood by those who've experienced it. Here are a few suggestions:
1) Don't single them out in front of the congregation. Being "different" than any of the other kids is often part of their lot in life.
2) Do give each of them unique gifts...gifts that show that you know what each child really enjoys.
3) Don't get them a Bible or a Christian book. Many pastor's kids feel that church dominates their lives and they just want to be "normal." Check with their parents first, but purchase things that you buy for your own kids at Christmas: video games, gift certificates to clothing or music stores, toys, bicycles, etc.
4) You might also pay for a year of music lessons, or karate lessons, or gymnastics. Or you might pay to send a child to basketball camp, or some other unique opportunity.
5) It might help you generate ideas if you ask the question, "What do my kids have or what have they done that my pastor's son or daughter does not have or has not done?"
6) Make sure that the pastor's children know how much you genuinely love and respect their parents. Pastor's kids see their pastor/dad come home from a stressful meeting. They hear people complain about their dad or mom. They attend congregational meetings where people get upset with each other and with the Leadership. They see their mother's tears.
And yes, your children tell them what you really think of their parents!
Do everything you possibly can to prove that you genuinely appreciate your pastor and his wife.
There really is an endless supply of pastor appreciation ideas. Use your creativity...brainstorm with others in the church.
What have you done by yourself or as a church to show your pastor appreciation?
Click any of the links below to see ideas from other visitors to this page...
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