This year has been a tough year for all of us, our pastors, and church leaders too. The pandemic has changed almost everything, including our churches, and many of our leaders are growing fatigued just as they enter the seasons of Thanksgiving and Advent. (By the way, I’m so pleased with how our churches and pastors have adjusted during this time. It has taken a lot of prayer and patience and hard work, but our churches are doing well. (Thank you!)
The Bible says that we are to “take delight in honoring each other” (Romans 12:10). We should enjoy giving others honor. One translation says we should “outdo” ourselves in recognizing others (ESV).
To honor means to bestow esteem, value, or worth. When we show appreciation, we show honor.
Well, this month is Pastors Appreciation Month – a time to remember to honor our pastors and staff. Paul said that whose “who preach and teach are worthy of double honor” (1 Timothy 5:17-18). I’m not sure what all that entails, but if they ever should be honored, it’s this year, right?
Many lists are going around, but here are my top ten ways you can show your gratitude to your pastors.
1. Pray for and with your pastor. Pray daily for your pastor. Ask them if there are any specific areas you can pray for them about. Better, yet take time to pray with them.
2.Get more involved in the church. Even during this COVID time, there are ways we can serve in the church family. Find out what you can do. Nothing encourages a pastor more than seeing others become committed to God and His work.
3. Support them personally. You may not realize it, but pastors are targets for critics. It’s hard to please everyone. Even though they are not perfect, make it a point to support him and the ministry. Determine not to speak ill of your pastor. Stand up for him or her in front of others.
4. Give a word of appreciation. Email or write a note to share your gratitude for what they are doing. Be specific. Let him or her know the impact they have made in your life.
5. Help out the family. Find out what they need. Maybe you can give your pastor and spouse a getaway somewhere or a gift certificate to one of their favorite restaurants. If they have young kids at home provide some free childcare.
6. Provide the time and funding for your pastor to attend a needed seminar or conference. Pastors need to be refueled. Once we see less restrictions around COVID, getting away for a conference would be a wonderful way to encourage your pastor.
7. When travel allows again, help him take a trip to Israel. This is a big one, but your pastor will never approach the Bible or the pulpit the same way after spending time in the Holy Land. The Conference has a trip scheduled to visit Israel and 7 Churches in March 2022.
8. Do something with them. Help complete a project at the church or parsonage, help him complete a nagging task, or invite him and his family to do something together.
9. Give your pastor an extra weekend off. Most of us enjoy long weekends throughout the year, but our pastors don’t get those except for vacation. Consider giving them a long weekend. Even one extra weekend off will be appreciated.
10. Ask them, “What can I do to most help you?” You might be surprised by the answer. There may be a way to encourage them right now.
Before You Go
Let’s honor and appreciate our pastors! The Bible says that we should “respect those who work hard among you… hold them in the highest regard in love because of their work.” (1 Thess. 5:13-14)
What would you add to my list?