Pastor Appreciation Month: A Perspective

by Karen Kinnaird

October is Pastor-Staff Appreciation Month. Initiated years ago by Focus on the Family, this annual showing of appreciation is based on 1 Timothy 5:17, “The elders who direct the affairs of the church well are worthy of double honor, especially those whose work is preaching and teaching.” This observance can have a tremendous, positive impact on ministers, their wives, their children and ultimately the church itself.

I’ve served as the wife of a minister for nearly 35 years. God has taken Jimmy and me on a journey through pastorates and denominational work. I have gained perspectives of ministry from several angles, and one thing that is apparent is the need for pastors to be affirmed, encouraged and appreciated.

Ministry is a great joy and privilege, but it demands balancing overwhelming demands. Ministers are on call 24/7. It is rare that they are not thinking about the church. They celebrate the greatest joys and significant moments of people’s lives while also providing comfort during devastating hardships and tragedy. They’ve been entrusted with the God-given calling of caring for the spiritual well-being of their congregation. Their desire is for you to cross into eternity and hear, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”

Pastor-Staff Appreciation Month is a unique time in which church members may personally show appreciation to their pastors. In the late ‘80s, my husband served as the pastor of a church plant in a suburb of New Orleans. Money was tight for us and the church. As a church-planting couple, I worked full-time while my husband completed seminary classes, and while we were raising babies and balancing the household together. Someone took the initiative to organize meals for a week. It was just what we needed!

Over the years, we have been blessed in many ways, but his favorite thing is always a personal note with a word of appreciation citing a specific time he ministered to them or a sermon that God used to speak directly to them.

Showing appreciation to your pastors reminds them that they are seen, loved and supported. It refortifies their commitment and re-energizes them. It increases effectiveness and inspires perseverance. A good word or kind gesture can make all the difference.

A pastor’s wife knows better than anyone the sacrifice her husband makes to serve God’s people. Remembering your ministers will also remind their spouses that they are valued and loved. A minister’s wife who is strengthened will strengthen her husband.

Being a minister’s kid is very hard, and it is helpful to know their parent’s selfless work is appreciated. This will make them feel valued for years to come.

I encourage you to ask yourself what you can do that will meet a need and help them feel loved. Appreciation and gratitude don’t cost a lot of money. Tell them you love them. Pray for them. Lighten their load. For specific ideas, see the list below or go HERE.

Pastor Appreciation makes the church better. Pray about encouraging one or two ministers on staff, perhaps those you are connected to the most. Spearhead the effort and champion the cause in your ministry, home group or connection group, and let’s express our love and appreciation this October!

Ideas for children, students and adults to participate in Pastor Appreciation Month

Children:
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Handwritten note or picture
- Class idea: Poster with a big heart with kids’ names and thumbprints in different color ink
placed on the heart

Students:
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Handwritten note
- Provide childcare for a date night or trip to a coffee shop
- Lawn work or help with a home project

Individuals:
-
Handwritten note or prayer card
- An email of gratitude
- Gift card to a favorite restaurant, movie theatre, clothing store, coffee shop
- Order takeout and have delivered
- Coupons for childcare that can be redeemed as needed
- Tickets to a favorite sporting event, concert or production
- Subscription for Bible study software
- Mow the lawn or offer to help with yard work or landscaping
- Drop off a tin of gourmet popcorn or a fall mum
- Night or weekend getaway
- Schedule a “thank you flash mob”
- A sincere social media shout out

Groups
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Update the home or church office with gift cards to office furniture stores, office supply stores, regular furniture stores or art stores or websites

 

Karen Kinnaird