There are many ways I’ve been honored by Pastor Appreciation Month, but what really touches my heart is when someone shakes my hand as they leave the church and says, ‘What you said this morning really made me think — you have made a difference in my life,’” says Jesse Carr, pastor of Sharon Heights Church, Birmingham.
“Of course, I appreciate a congregation being kind and considerate to my family too,” he said.
Jerry Rea, pastor of First Southern Baptist Church, Muscle Shoals, said, “Today’s pastors are under a lot of stress, especially due to the coronavirus in 2020 and the unrest in our nation.
“For many, serving as pastor of a church can be a lonely occupation.”
And that’s where Pastor Appreciation Month comes in.
“Pastor Appreciation lets the minister know [he isn’t] carrying the pressure of the congregation alone,” he said.
“In a small church, a pastor has an opportunity to know the people and to offer spiritual love and growth.
“Our church not only recognizes the pastor but the staff,” Rea said. “I feel this is very important as there are people who work in our offices who keep the church operating. It takes everyone working together to have a God-loving church.”
October was established as Pastor Appreciation Month (originally known as Clergy Appreciation Month) in 1992 by a group of pastors and church leaders to honor those who serve in ministry.
Recognizing your pastor/staff and family is a gift of love. This special acknowledgment should be above and beyond what a church is already doing for its leaders.
Observing Pastor Appreciation Month is a way to say, “Our church loves and appreciates you.”
Most importantly, pray for your pastor and staff.
Support them by your attendance and commitment.
Tell others about the man God has chosen to lead your church.
Honor God by honoring His servant.
10 ways to honor staff members
Are you looking for unique ways to say “thank you” to your church leaders? If so, these ideas will get you started:
- Encourage your pastor to enroll in a seminary course online or complete a degree. Pastors need to be prepared and equipped to serve God and His church.
- Provide a gift card for travel to visit adult children or family.
- Present a hand-made friendship quilt from the women in the church or a fleece throw of the staff member’s favorite sports team.
- Plan a Dessert-a-Month for the coming year and deliver to the pastor’s family.
- Write a personal letter of appreciation to your pastor and staff. Enlist your children to write/draw thank you notes to accompany your letter.
- Encourage your pastor to take care of his health by gifting him with a gym membership.
- Give a gift card to your pastor or staff members to download books of their choice.
- Offer to watch your pastor’s children while he and his wife have an outing.
- Surprise your pastor with tickets to a movie, concert, sporting event, etc.
- Involve the media by placing an ad in the local paper. Let your community know how much your church loves its leaders.