Pastor, we appreciate you!
There…job done. I’ve appreciated my pastor and can get on with my life.
How can we really appreciate our pastors? According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, “appreciation” is defined as “to value or admire highly”.
How do we express to our pastor that we value them? Let me ask you a question, how would you feel appreciated?
Gary Chapman talks about the Five Love Languages: receiving gifts, quality time, words of affirmation, acts of service, and physical touch. Let’s leave the last one for a different kind of relationship but the other four are helpful for us to express appreciation to our pastor(s).
Gifts is the most common when it comes to Pastor Appreciation Month. Gift cards to restaurants, a private cash gift, or a gift given through the church are common examples. Some people are more creative and can “give” their pastor a week or two at a lake cottage they own, share season tickets to a local sports team, etc. Generally, we do pretty well in this area of expressing appreciation.
How about quality time? Would buying your pastor lunch sometime be meaningful to them? Maybe your pastor’s schedule is too full and offering to create time alone for them might be a better idea? Taking care of children or dependent parents so they can go out is one way many people show their appreciation for pastors. Taking the pastor out for an evening ball game with the family is another way of creating memories. I am sure you can think of even more ways of showing appreciation by providing quality time for your pastor.
Words of affirmation in cards, notes, or email are a blessing. However, it is when you talk positively about your pastor to other people that really shows appreciation. How about a “shout-out” on Facebook? A link to one of the recently taped sermons along with some encouraging words is a wonderful way of expressing appreciation for your pastor.
As for acts of service my mind is full of ideas. Do some weeding or mow the grass. Vacuum and clean their car and return it with a full tank of gas! Plant some bulbs that will come up the next spring. Volunteer your time for an hour or two to help with chores, cleaning, or some project that your pastor has going on.
If you are able to do any of these, and the ideas are endless, that would be great! You are on your way to appreciating your pastor. However, there is a better way…
To express appreciation when we are encouraged to do so by the care deacon(ess) is one thing. It’s like making our kids say “thank you”. We expect children to have to be reminded to express appreciation. However, what a delight it was when my children internalized that and started expressing their thanks and appreciation on their own…because they wanted to!
Friends, how much do we really appreciate our pastors? Do we have to be reminded to say “thank you”? Do we take the ministry of our pastors for granted since that is just their job? Do we thank our Father for our pastor’s family and pray for them?
October is Pastor Appreciation Month. Take time to honor your pastor with any of the ways in which appreciation and love is expressed this month. However, let’s also develop a heart that is grateful for our pastors and express it regularly throughout the year.