It’s that time of year again! The weather is cooling. Leaves start to switch out their color schemes. Candy and costumes fill the seasonal aisles at every big box store. October can be a fun and busy month. But it’s also the time to show some well-deserved love to the spiritual leaders among us. It’s pastor appreciation month! While there are many different ways to encourage your pastor, we asked a few pastor friends of Life 90.5 about the best ways to show them your appreciation. Check out seven of their suggestions to encourage them this month and beyond.
1. SHOW UP FOR CHURCH
One way to celebrate pastor appreciation month is quite easy. Just show up for church! Your pastor knows how much his flock needs to be among other believers and hearing from the Word of God. It will make his Sunday to see you joining in with your brothers and sisters in Christ.
2. ENCOURAGE THEM
Your pastor hears plenty of criticism from those impossible to please in your congregation. However, they don’t hear near enough encouragement. Did his last message speak to your heart? Let him know this week. Was his Facebook or Instagram post encouraging to you the other day? Comment to tell him that was the exact message you needed! If you’ve benefited in any way from his faithful service, make it a point to say thank you with a personalized, heart-felt card. Pastors often feel unseen in their work, so use your words to show their efforts aren’t unnoticed. Those notes of thanks and encouragement will mean more to him than you would ever know.
3. JOIN TOGETHER FOR A SINGLE GIFT FOR PASTOR APPRECIATION MONTH
If your pastor has been in ministry for more than a couple years, he’s probably got more gifted knickknacks than he knows what to do with. These visible reminders of gratitude and love from their flock are surely sweet, but they often end up just collecting a lot of dust. While pastor Jeff Loman certainly appreciates each small gift from church members, he likes it when they come together for a single gift. The Life 90.5 afternoon host and leader of Northpointe Community Church has loved gifts that come from the congregation as a whole, like providing a small getaway or a large gift card. This year, instead of getting a bunch of small gifts for your pastor, consider going in together to provide something a little bigger that doesn’t fill a bunch of shelf space.
4. DELIVER A FAVORITE DISH
On Facebook, our friend Bev shared a great idea. For pastor appreciation month, she plans to give her pastor some fried croissants from Burney’s. Maybe your pastor likes bacon, or banana pudding, or lasagna, or chicken and dumplings. If you know your pastor’s favorite dinner, make it for the entire family one evening. As Life in the Morning co-host Mandy’s dad and home church pastor Gary Carroll says, “a meal is never a bad idea.”
5. SERVE FAITHFULLY BEYOND PASTOR APPRECIATION MONTH
Your pastor does so much work for his church. But a wonderful way to love your pastor far beyond pastor appreciation month is to serve all year long. Pastor Doug Faulk of Kingdom Impact Church says, “serving faithfully in your church is a great way to show love and appreciation for the ministry.” Ask your pastor where help is needed, then jump in and work alongside him to share the gospel and encourage other believers.
6. LOVE YOUR PASTOR'S FAMILY
The pastor may be the one you see teaching on stage every Sunday, but his family is a vital part of his ministry, supporting him behind the scenes. Pastor Bryan Blackwell of Pine Valley Baptist Church says, “I feel most appreciated and loved when the congregation loves my family. I’m grateful that our church loves my wife and children and supports them in so many ways. That is a blessing to me.” Look for ways to not only encourage your pastor during pastor appreciation month, but his faithfully-serving family too.
7. PRAY FOR YOUR PASTOR
When asked what their congregations could do in appreciation for their pastor, nearly every pastor responded mentioning prayer. Your pastors experience difficult times just as you do. In fact, they endure tremendous stress and pressure in spiritual warfare for their flock as well as their families. Keep your pastor on your prayer list. Lift them and their families up to the Lord regularly. And when you pray for your pastor, tell them. It will encourage your pastor long after pastor appreciation month if they know their people are praying for them all year long.