The heroes of Missouri Baptist life are our pastors and staff members. The vast majority of these mighty men of God work long hours and carry heavy burdens for the eternal souls of people. I’m honored to serve shoulder to shoulder with these men who serve the Lord by serving local Missouri churches.
Many years ago, the Focus on the Family ministry launched October as Pastor Appreciation Month. It has become a yearly event. It is a good time to honor those who serve the local church.
There are many creative things people can do to express appreciation for your pastor. The important thing is to give a little thought and initiative to saying thank you.
I’ve heard of churches that received a love offering, bought a special gift, collected cash for a money tree, offered time off, presented a book, gave a gift to the pastor’s wife, or showered him with cards. I heard of one church where the men in the church volunteered to bless the pastor for a day. Over the course of the month, they took him to lunch, took him bowling, took him hunting, took him to a men’s store and bought him a suit. One guy and his wife offered to keep the children and gave the pastor a gift card to take his wife on a date.
Diana Davis of Indianapolis writes a suggestion list:
• Text “bombing.” If your pastor has unlimited text messaging on his phone, ask all church members and attenders to text an appreciation message to the pastor on a specific day. Boom! He’s encouraged.
• Bound book of personal quotes. Use a form to ask every church member and attender to write a one-sentence quotation about the pastor. Combine them into a book and have it bound at the local print shop. Or ask avid scrapbookers in the church to create a beautiful book. Make a separate, unique book for each ministry staff member.
• Tie wardrobe. If your pastor wears a tie, ask groups in the church to purchase a nice tie and have everyone in that group sign the back with fabric pens. Choirs, deacons, committees, organizations and all ages of Sunday School classes can participate.
• “My Pastor” Video. Interview children to ask what they like best about the pastor, then create a short video. End it with a funny rap about the pastor by middle school youth.
• Everybody brings gifts. Carefully select two items your pastor really likes, i.e. golf ball, popcorn, fishing lure, sunflower seeds. Ask every church member to bring one of the items on Sunday, then have a processional where everyone brings their small encouragement gift to put in a huge basket. Provide extras for guests and members who forget.
• Facebook flood. If your pastor uses Facebook, distribute an announcement to church members asking them to post a Facebook message of appreciation on his page. For example, snap his photo and post, “this is what a great pastor looks like!”
• “Love our Pastor” T-shirt. A children’s class can write their name with fabric ink on a T-shirt, then invite the pastor to their classroom for the presentation.
• Lawn signs. Attach election-style signs to wood stakes in the church lawn proclaiming “We love Pastor Monty” during Pastor Appreciation Week. On Sunday, youth can use them to picket as people arrive.”
Whatever you do, do something that encourages your pastor to be the leader God wants him to be. Use October 2012 to bless the man of God that He has placed in your life.