How to Bless Your Pastor
As you may or may not know, October is Pastor Appreciation Month. This appreciation month is designed to recognize the hard work your pastor does.
It’s easy to forget that pastors do more than deliver sermons on Sunday mornings. They also lead ministry teams, visit those in the hospital and hospice, spend time caring for those in need, and pray for their congregation – on top of many other seldomly recognized tasks.
Think about how it feels when you help carry someone else’s burdens. You know we are called to do so, but it is still heavy. Now imagine feeling like you are helping to carry an entire congregation’s burdens. It’s challenging!
In fact, many pastors struggle under the weight and responsibilities of pastoring their flock. According to 2023 report by Barna, “Pastors’ confidence and satisfaction in their vocation has decreased significantly in the past few years, and two in five (41%) say they’ve considered quitting ministry in the last 12 months. […] The percentage of pastors who say they have gone through a period when they significantly doubted their calling for ministry has more than doubled since 2015 (from 24% to 55% in 2022).”
These statistics are a clear indication that our pastors need encouragement. They need to know they are appreciated by their congregation – and what better time than during Pastor Appreciation Month!
Here are several ways you can bless your pastor that month and throughout the year.
1. Pray for him.
One of the best things you can do for your pastor is pray for him. Pray God gives him wisdom and endurance. Pray for his overall well-being and his family’s well-being.
2. Write him a note.
Blessing your pastor doesn’t have to cost you a lot of money. In fact, some of the best gifts are those that don’t cost a thing. For example, write your pastor a note or send him a card that lets him know you appreciate him and are praying for him.
3. Let him know how he has ministered to you.
A nice way to really encourage your pastor and life him up is to praise him. Let him know when he shares something that ministers to you. If he preached a message that stayed with you, let him know!
4. Have the kids do something special for him.
During Pastor Appreciation Month, get the kids involved. Have the children’s Sunday School classes or children’s church group decorate notes from him. Have them draw pictures for him to put up in his office. One church gifted a pastor a poster board with all the children’s handprints and a message that said, “Hands down, best pastor ever” much to the pastor’s delight.
5. Set out a gift basket in the lobby.
Try to get the congregation involved in blessing the pastor so it isn’t something that just comes from the church leadership team. One way to do so is to set out an empty basket in the church lobby and ask congregants to brings items, such as candy and gift cards, to place inside as a gift for the pastor.
6. Do some lawn work.
Give him some extra rest by doing some lawn work for him or hiring a landscaping crew. This is a great way for the teens in youth groups to show they care.
7. Provide childcare for date night.
If your pastor has young children, offer childcare so he and his wife can enjoy a much-needed date night.
8. Gift him some time off.
Send your pastor off on a vacation or retreat. If you know of someone with a vacation home, see if they are willing to let your pastor stay for free.
9. Invite him to do something fun.
Is there something fun you know your pastor enjoys, like golfing? Invite him to come along the next time you play. Is there a fun activity in your area that would be exciting and relaxing? Make plans to take your pastor with you.
10. Have him over for dinner.
It’s always a privilege when someone invites you to their home for dinner – especially for a pastor. Sometimes pastors are treated as “other” and not invited to people’s homes for simply meals just because of their job title. Show your pastor he’s welcome and appreciated by inviting him to join your family for a meal.
11. Make a congregation thank you video.
If you have time and the ability, see if your sound team and video team can put together a quick video presentation of your church congregation telling the pastor thank you.
12. Shower him with his favorite things.
Do you know your pastor’s favorite candy? Favorite restaurant? Favorite baseball team or football team? Favorite music group? Is he a proud alumna of a university? Give him some of his favorite things to show you know him and care about him.
13. Host a church potluck in his honor.
One Sunday in October, host a potluck in honor of your pastor after church. Have everyone bring a dish to share and set out blank note cards or a giant poster board for people to write messages of appreciation to the pastor.
14. Set up a prayer calendar.
Show your pastor he’s cared for by setting up an all-month prayer calendar for him. Ask the congregation to sign up for different days to pray for the pastor specifically so that he is covered in prayer every day of the month.
15. Fill his fridge.
Utilize a program like Take Them a Meal to stock your pastor’s fridge with meals for the month. Make sure to tell church members they don’t have to bake something from scratch. They can buy pre-made Stouffer’s lasagnas or order pizza and have it delivered.
The goal is simply to honor your pastor and show him he is appreciated.
Now we ask you, brothers and sisters, to give recognition to those who labor among you and lead you in the Lord and admonish you, and to regard them very highly in love because of their work. Be at peace among yourselves. (1 Thessalonians 5:12-13)