October is Pastor Appreciation Month and I am not sure where that came from but it is not a bad idea to be reminded that we should be grateful for those “keeping watch over our souls” as it says in Hebrews 13:17.
As a custom many people give gifts to their pastors to show their appreciation and some are good gifts and some are well, ok I guess. Most of us have plenty of Bibles. Coffee mugs and gift cards and plaques and cards are all good things to show your pastor that you care but are they the best gift you can give your pastor? Being a Pastor myself I began to think of truly great ways to show a pastor how much he is appreciated for his laboring. Here are, in no particular order, four easy but really meaningful ways someone can show a Pastor that he is loved and appreciated.
1. Pray for your pastor. This is probably the most important one on the list. Your Pastor NEEDS your prayers. Many people have no idea the stress that pastors endure. From preaching prep to counseling to dealing with church issues, it is stressful. Your Pastor needs you to go to the Throne of God on his behalf and plead with God to strengthen and uphold him as he leads you. Pray also for his family. Your pastor’s family also needs your prayers because they too deal with the stresses of his role. And let him know that you are praying for him. This is great encouragement. I have men in my church that constantly let me know that they are praying for me. What a blessing. 2 Cor. 1:11
2. Tell him thank you. Most pastors work extremely hard to prepare sermons each week. They are also pretty much on call 24-7 to go to the hospital when you are sick or answer that phone call late at night. Many that I know also do things that others never know about, like emptying the trash that was forgotten or changing the bulb that was out or unlocking and ensuring that the church is comfortable for everyone’s worship. Although your pastor would probably never ask for it, it is encouraging to hear a thank you. This goes a long way of lifting the spirits of a pastor. 1 Cor. 1:4-9
3. Give feedback. Believe it or not most pastors love to have some feedback from members. Sometimes we wonder if people are really listening because we hear little from members about what we teach or preach about. Now we also know that we are not that great expositors of the Word where all of our listeners questions are answered before they are asked so ask questions. Most true loving pastors love to hear from members about what they teach and preach on. It shows a true interest in the Word of God and the direction of the church. We are not perfect and we do make mistakes and it is the church that is to hold us accountable that we preach and teach correctly. If you have questions, email or call. We don’t mind. Psalm 1:1-2
4. Tell others about what God is doing in and through your church. What pastors love most is when the members of their church get involved in making Jesus famous. Nothing is more encouraging to pastors like seeing the fruit of their teaching and leading through members. We love partners in the Gospel and to partner with us is to just talk about not what your pastor is doing but what God has, is and will do in and through your church. Eph. 4:11-12
Material gifts are great and pastors love them but I bet your pastor would really cherish one of the four mentioned things or something very similar as well. And this just doesn’t have to be in October.