Did you know nearly 90% of pastors work over 45 hours a week? They work weekdays, weekends, holidays, and at all hours of the day and night. Because your own life gets busy, you may not notice how much time they put towards furthering the mission of the church and helping the community.
October is Pastor Appreciation Month, and it’s the ideal time to show gratitude for all they do day-in and day-out. Throughout October, and on Saturday the 12th (Pastor Appreciation Day), take the opportunity to do a little something extra for their hard work.
Here are a few gift ideas to help inspire you!
1. Update technology
Technology can make a pastor’s job easier because it saves time, reduces clutter, and even saves space in the office! If your church struggles with obstacles like an old computer and sound systems, collect funds to update and replace them. If technology is working, consider having a professional update your church's website.
2. Personalize a gift basket
If you have time, go above and beyond pre-made gift baskets. Include handmade treats, crafts from your church family, and even gift cards to their favorite stores. Add a quick note from the person that made the specific item, so each time your pastor unwraps it, they get a little extra expression of gratitude.
3. Organize a family day out
A family day out is perfect for pastors because they’re pulled in multiple directions. While they're passionate about leading the church, it can distract them from those precious moments with their family.
Organize and sponsor a family day out for the pastor that includes gift cards to places the entire family can enjoy. Consider offering free babysitting at the end of the day, so the pastor and his wife can go on a date.
4. Create a scrapbook
Over the years, your pastor has done so much as a spiritual leader. Create a scrapbook that captures those memories. Purchase an album to add pictures and notes in, or make one from scratch.
If your pastor is new, ask their family to provide pictures and news clippings of their career. Add notes of appreciation throughout the scrapbook to personalize it even more.
5. Plan a potluck meal
A potluck meal can make a celebration more inviting and meaningful. Collect a list of your pastor’s favorite casseroles, sides, and desserts and invite people to sign up and bring one. Begin the meal with a prayer dedicated to your pastor. Remember to bring plenty of Tupperware and send the pastor and their family home with the leftovers!
6. Give a gift card
While pastors appreciate getting personalized gifts, they also love choosing items for themselves using gift cards. Gift cards for bookstores, movies, restaurants, grocery stores, and more are not only appreciated, but they’re also fun to use!
If you want to personalize the gift card more, ask the pastor’s family what they enjoy doing most. Then, tailor the gift cards to that theme. For instance, if they love coffee, provide gift cards to local coffee shops and stores with a wide selection of coffee grounds and mugs.
7. Display a plaque
Many churches enjoy redecorating their pastor’s office to show appreciation. This year go one step further and add a special plaque to their shelves or hang one on the wall. Your pastor spends a lot of time in his office, whether it’s at home or in the church. An eye-pleasing and personalized plaque is a lovely addition.
8. Create a scavenger hunt
Put clues throughout the church that guide the pastor on a scavenger hunt. Leave the first clue on their desk and give them directions to locate their pastor appreciation gift. Have different people write the clues out with a side-note sharing how the pastor has impacted their lives.
Once they reach the end of the scavenger hunt, have a token of generosity wrapped from the congregation whether it’s a monetary gift or another special item.