Timely Tips -- Pastor Appreciation
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Timely Tips -- Pastor Appreciation

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Timely Tips - Pastor Appreciation

• Generate a calendar for the remaining months of this year and the first six to nine months of next year. (Many computer word-processing programs can generate such a calendar.) Print it, and then note special activities, one or two per month, for each month in honor of your pastor. For example, offer to babysit the pastor's children the second Saturday of December so Pastor can shop for Christmas gifts. Or jot an invitation to a special dinner at your home the third Thursday in March. Use a paper clip or removable tape to fasten concert tickets or movie passes to one or more calendar pages. Need more ideas? Ask a friend from church to join you in this special thank-you gift that keeps on thanking all year round. Then present the gift calendar to your pastor as a thank-you gift that keeps saying thanks all year round!

• Gather the children and youth from your congregation. Invite everyone to make high fives (hand prints) or fist bumps (fist prints) on a large piece of poster paper. You can simply draw around each person's hand or fist with a marker and let them color in their prints. Or paint hands or fists with washable tempera paint and firmly press the paint onto the poster to make high fives and fist bumps. Print the following poem on the completed poster:


One simple high five just won't do
for a pastor as great as you!

Thanks for ALL you do for us in Jesus' name!

• Gather eleven church friends to form a "Thank-You-Card-a-Month Club." Assign one month to each person and take a month yourself. During their assigned months, club members will send a card, flowers, movie tickets, or some other small thank-you gift to your pastor to show your love and appreciation for his or her service to your congregation.

• Church workers are people, too! Does your pastor, DCE, DRE, or youth minister have a hobby or special interest, aside from church? Encourage healthy diversions with inexpensive gifts like golf balls, batteries for his model airplane, a gift certificate to her favorite scrapbooking store, or a copy of the latest Christian best-seller.

• This might be a good time to "fill-in-the-blanks" on your pastor's reference shelves. Is there a specific commentary that would be useful? Many references are available on computer programs for quick and easy access. Ask about this. Then consider purchasing one or more!

• Gather a crew to clean and paint your pastor's office. (Get permission first, of course!) Replace the carpeting or refinish the floor, add new artwork to the walls, and update the furniture, if needed.

• Help the younger children in your Sunday school classes or children's ministry groups make a "Thank You, Pastor" booklet. Give each child a blank piece of paper and encourage him or her to draw a picture of one thing the pastor does. Be sure children's illustrations cover most of the page. Ask adults or youth on hand to print a caption for each page. Then bind all the pictures together and add a booklet cover entitled, "Thank You for All You Do!"

• Preteens might enjoy a scavenger hunt to the local grocery store. The mission: To collect candy bars that can be used in a "Thank You" poster. For example:

  • Pastor, you are a (Almond) Joy to be around!
  • You Score big on our charts!
  • We wouldn't trade you, even for $100,000!
  • You're out of this world! (Mars bar)

• Don't forget your pastor's spouse! Show your appreciation with a restaurant gift certificate, an evening of free babysitting, or an afternoon at a spa. A simple handwritten note of encouragement can also convey your thankfulness to God for this gift to your congregation.

• Say thanks each month during the coming year as you honor and encourage your church's spiritual leader(s). Encourage volunteers to commit to doing one "appreciative" thing for your pastor during the month they choose. Be creative! Think about small gifts or expressions of thanks tailored to your pastors' lifestyle. And be sure to remind each volunteer as the month that person signed up for approaches. Some ideas for volunteers:

  • Make a phone call just to say, "Thanks for all you do."
  • Take your pastor(s) out to lunch or dinner - not to discuss church business, but just to relax.
  • Change the oil or perform other basic auto maintenance.
  • Cut the grass or weed the flower beds at your pastor's home.
  • Bake a special dessert.
  • Send a heartfelt, personal, thank-you note.

• Give one, sure-to-be-appreciated gift for Pastor Appreciation Month. Many pastors serve congregations far away from their hometowns. Work with all the members of your church to buy airline tickets or provide gas money for a surprise trip "home." Be sure to give a few days of extra vacation time to allow for the unplanned trip. And you may want to include gift certificates or money to pay for extra expenses (for example, a motel room, meals along the way) so the visit truly is a blessing and not an unexpected financial burden. Or plan similarly for time away at a favorite retreat, national park, or fishing hole.

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