While October 8th is officially known as Pastor Appreciation Day, the whole month of October is observed as a time in which we can recognize, honor and serve our church’s leaders.
Pastors carry a heavy biblical responsibility of shepherding God’s flock. It is a role that comes with its fair share of blessings and challenges, as any pastor would tell you.
Our team at Faithlife recently did an informal poll of church leaders on social media and found that of those who responded on Facebook, one-fourth of pastors said they rarely feel appreciated. Similarly, only 38 percent of Twitter responders said they feel appreciated all the time and 12 percent said they rarely feel appreciated.
Although a pastor’s primary job is to serve their congregation, congregants are likewise called to serve their pastor. Appreciation for our pastors should be shown all year long, including during October’s Pastor Appreciation Month.
4 (free!) Ideas to for Pastor Appreciation Month
Here are four easy ways you can make sure your pastor knows they are appreciated:
Ask How You Can Pray for Them
Pastors spend a lot of time praying for the Church, for their family and for their weekly messages. But like everyone else, pastors experience struggles, ones that the congregation may not know about or even suspect. The Bible tells us that those in positions of authority have difficult roles, so they need our prayers especially.
Serve Within the Church
There is always that one ministry within the church looking for more volunteers. Whether it’s a need for daycare workers or small group leaders, decide to step up this month and give back to the Church. In this way, you will alleviate stress on pastors who are looked to for solutions when congregants don’t fill their roles.
Connect with them on Sundays
Pastors spend dozens of hours each week researching, praying and sermon-prepping; so if you feel impacted by their Sunday morning message, speak up! A quick, “That sermon really helped me,” or “Thank you so much for taking the time to present that,” to your pastor will mean a lot to them.
Send an encouraging word
Sometimes Sundays can be difficult days to connect one on one with pastors as they are so busy with other obligations. Take time throughout the week to send them an encouraging email about how much you appreciated their sermon on Sunday or their ministry to you and your family. Make it even more personal by sending a written note or card in the mail. You can also let others know how much you appreciate your pastor by posting a social media message about how much your pastor means to you, tagging them in the post. The public acknowledgment could inspire others to add their thanks, as well, helping your pastor know just how much he or she is truly appreciated.
No Christian is immune to experiencing hardships or needing encouragement, and this includes pastors. During October, consider the ways that you like to receive appreciation and look for opportunities to extend the same to your pastor. A small act of thoughtfulness can make a great impact in the life of your church leader.