Having been in the ministry, I have conflicting feelings about Pastor Appreciation month. On the one hand, it is a very good reminder to the people to take a moment and let their pastor know how much you love them. On the other hand, it can be a very depressing time when a pastor hears about all the things other churches did for their pastor and your church did nothing at all to show that they love & appreciate you!
Now that my husband has retired from full-time ministry, I’ve decided that it wouldn’t be self-serving to remind everyone to take some time and really show your pastor that you appreciate him. Church members, you don’t have to wait to be prompted by your board to do something, do it on your own, or at least remind the board members so they don’t forget. Get some personal ideas here.
Maybe you don’t realize the sacrifices made by pastors AND their families.
There are many.
- Pastoral families have left home and family to come and serve your church. They may be 100s or even 1000s of miles away from home. On top of that, they are seldom able to go home to see their families. They may even miss important events, like reunions and funerals, due to their service to you.
- In many cases, pastors are paid a minimal salary which barely meets their living expenses, even when a parsonage is provided.
- In order to get a degree and ordination in ministry, a minimum of 4-6 years is required at a private Christian College. Many times pastors are in serious debt before they even get started. They probably met their spouse at college, so they both have a lot of debt to pay on that minimal salary.
- Many pastors have a compassionate heart and they give much to the church financially and time-wise.
- Pastors are on call 24/7. They have missed many a family meal and their kid’s ballgames due to a need within the church. I have known many, ourselves included, who have canceled vacations, even after they left home, due to a need in the church.
These are just a few of the sacrifices made by your pastor and why you should show a little appreciation, personally and corporately, once in a while.
So …. maybe you are wondering,
I’m glad you asked!
I did a little survey of all my ministry friends. I asked them, “What is the best thing a church has ever done for you?” and here are their replies…
- Cash is always good. Cash helps pay a few bills that they might be coming short on. Also, since Christmas is just around the corner, it may help them provide a nice Christmas for their children.
2 Things to remember:
- If at all possible, don’t wait until the last Sunday in October to plan your special day. Do it early and he will be more surprised. When you wait until the last week, it kinda feels like your forgot and pulled something together at the last moment.
- Remember your associate pastors too. They may be bi-vocational or not, but they put in a lot of unknown hours to work with your teens, create awesome worship, or whatever ministry they do.
- Don’t forget any retired pastors or widows of pastors. A small token gift will go a long way for those no longer in ministry. Sometimes, they feel completely forgotten even though they have served for many years.
Have fun with this. Remember that a little appreciation and encouragement goes a long way. Click here for another post on “Ways to Love Your Pastor all Year Long!“
Suggested reading, especially for church board members.
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Pastor’s Wife (retired) & Chronic Pain Warrior blogs about how to make it through anything by relating her own life experiences to her writing. She is passionate about her love for the Lord and desires to spread that passion to others. She has a great desire to encourage women who are following behind her.