Friday, April 20, 2012

20 Ways to Thank Your Pastor

Whew! I am so happy to see people think of their pastor with special care. I have pastor friends whose members are so caring towards them. They are highly regarded and honored.

This article from Christian Personal Finance, which I am posting here, touches my heart. You know why? Because I am a pastor! Sounds self-serving but who else can say this? Among the four pastors in our church, I am sort of serving more in the marketplace. I like it because I feel it is what God wants me to do. I love what He gives me. He also gives me the chance to say what other couldn't say specially in the area of taking care of the pastors.

I believe, it is a blessing to take care of our pastors.  Do you think so too?

20 Ways To Thank Your Pastor
1.     Simply Say “Thank You” – While blatantly obvious, sometimes weeks go by for a pastor without someone verbally saying thank you.
2.     Provide a Vacation – Without a doubt, there is one thing that every single pastor absolutely needs no matter who they are: rest.  Whether this is a dubbed a vacation, trip, or sabbatical, all of the above allow for your pastor to break away from life for a set amount of time for the purpose of rest, relaxation, and recovery.  Consequently, this period usually serves to restore fresh passion and vision as well, decreasing the likelihood of pastoral “burnout.”
3.     Handwritten Notes – These are always special to receive, especially if you highlight something that “struck you” from a recent message or sermon.
4.     Photo Book – This is an inexpensive way to show your appreciation by gathering photos and notes from members that showcase special moments in the history of your church.
5.     Prayer – This may not seem like much of a thank you, but there is no greater way to support your pastor and encourage or appreciate them than forming a prayer group that prays regularly for him and his family.  This can also be done as a group during a prayer meeting/breakfast or a special night of prayer involving the entire congregation.
6.     Gift Certificates – This can range anywhere from restaurants to bookstores to movie tickets.  The possibilities are endless and the pastor usually gets to include his wife on this one as an added bonus!
7.     Lawn Care – This is a unique gift where you can arrange for free lawn care, whether you do it yourself or arrange to pay a service to do it.
8.     Special Acts of Service – You can ask families in the church to do something creative or special, such as provide a meal with dessert, wash their cars, etc . . . .
9.     Remember Special Dates – Everyone, no matter who they are, loves to be appreciated.  Show your pastor how much you love him by remembering special anniversaries, such as his birthday, the date that he came to this church, or his wedding anniversary.
10.  Lessons/Gifts For a Hobby – Many pastors love to golf.  Some like to read while others like to fish. No matter what their hobby is, you can always find a way to appreciate him by paying for lessons or going along with him to “play” and not talk about church!
11.  Plant a Tree – This is a great way to say thank you in honor of your pastor.
12.  Video Interview – Be creative!  You can record video interviews from members of the church sharing how they have been blessed by his ministry to them.
13.  Cards/Crafts – Ask members of the church to send cards or gifts that they’ve made to his home.  Remember to include the pastor’s wife and her supportive role!
14.  Special Service – Hold a special celebration service to pray and thank God for the lives of your pastors and their families.
15.  Kid’s “Thank You’s” – Have the kids design and create posters with their handprints/footprints and hang them around the church.
16.  Money – Many pastors take a pay cut to serve in this role.  The gift of money, given by members during a special appreciation event, can help to pay for car repairs or any other financial burdens that are unexpected.
17.  Gym/Health Club Membership – This is always a great investment for your pastor!
18.  Free Repairs – Organize a group that is willing to say thanks by helping the pastor take care of any repairs around the church or their personal home or car.
19.  Child Care – If your pastor is younger, you can offer to say thank you by helping to watch their children while they have a night out or go to a Bed and Breakfast for the weekend.
20.  Thank the Pastor’s Wife – Remember the statistic: 60% of pastor’s wives work full time to support the home.  Thanking your pastor’s wife for all that she does to support her husband and God’s church can be an incredible lift to her spirit and, consequently, your pastor’s spirit as well.
Although the list above is not exhaustive, it’s a great start to some innovative ways to thank your pastor!  My personal favorites include any ideas that help the pastor to get time away in order to get refreshed and refocused and also any ideas that show sincere appreciation to the pastor’s wife.

Do you have another creative way to say “thank you?”  Meet me right now in the comment section by sharing any additional ideas and insights that you have for thanking our pastors!

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