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Why and How to Celebrate Pastor Appreciation Month

October is Pastor Appreciation Month. Your pastor may get a lot of attention on Sunday morning, but what he really does is mostly behind the scenes.(Last Updated On: December 13, 2017)

October is Pastor Appreciation Month. Your pastor may get a lot of attention on Sunday morning, but what he really does is mostly behind the scenes.

Sometimes, people think pastors just preach on Sunday morning. Who wouldn’t like a one day a week job?

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However, in addition to sermon preparation which takes hours of writing, researching, editing, and practicing, most pastors are responsible for leading the staff, organizing events, ministering to those who are sick or hurting, and making a multitude of decisions each week about everything from children’s ministry to plumbing problems.

While your pastor’s Sunday morning sermon might be the most visible thing he does each week, it is probably the smallest portion of his actual responsibilities and an even smaller portion of his ministry.

This fall, my online ministry has become more physical as I’ve been recovering from my surgery and better able to be back in the land of the living. I co-facilitate a marriage group at PWOC (Protestant Women of the Chapel).

We are reading a book that is extremely convicting and challenging, but will produce amazing fruit in the marriages of these women. I know just from a discipleship standpoint, it has helped me find places for growth.

However, I’ve learned tangibly that leading a ministry is more than just showing up once a week. In addition to teaching preparation, there is real need for ministering to the wives inside our class. Prayer requests that break my heart seem to come daily. I’ve been up at 2 a.m. messaging women in crisis several times.

I can only imagine the challenges of ministering to even a small congregation and truly taking the time to be present for people, even just on the phone, via email, or prayers takes real time and energy.

Our pastors give so much more of their time and heart than we ever realize. They drop family plans in an instant to tend to a hospitalized congregant or tend to grieving families. Our pastor even spent the night in Atlanta in order to take a member of our church to have surgery because she needed a specialist.

So celebrate Pastor Appreciation Month by recognizing the depth of his ministry.

He is doing God’s work in ways that consume his time, energy, and emotions.

How can we celebrate our pastors?

Check out free tools and tips to help you celebrate Ministry Appreciation Month in DaySpring’s #ReturntheBlessing campaign.

Prayer – take up the challenge to pray for your pastor specifically every day through the month.

Volunteer – While we’re all in different seasons of life, try to find a place in which you can serve. I don’t know any churches that don’t need more volunteers!

Thoughtful gifts may also be appreciated. Try to think of things that remind him of his purpose, remind him that his ministry matters to you.

Is he an avid reader? I know I can’t have enough money for books. I bought three books on apologetics this week! And I’ve got a wishlist a MILE long. There are so many great books by deep thinkers and amazing theologians. If you’re not sure which authors are his favorites, a gift card is a great way to support his reading habit.

You can also ask which books he likes to use for pastoral counseling and purchase a few for the church.

Does he spend a lot of lunches at the church and would appreciate a mini-cooler? Would he appreciate a coffee mug? Would your worship pastor like fun guitar picks?

By the way, I love this husband-wife set for the pastor and his wife. What a cute way to remember that she serves too. While she may take more or less of an active role in the church depending on her gifts and season of wife/motherhood, she graciously gives of her husband’s time.

Remember the wives during Pastor Appreciation Month

Much like a soldiers’ wives,  pastors’ wives sacrifice so much family time, but they accept this as part of their family’s service to God. However, that doesn’t always make it easier emotionally. Plus she may often feel isolated because people put so many expectations on her that she struggles to make friends.

Finding time for hobbies is hard for most pastors because there is so much important work to do, but ministry takes a lot of energy. And recharging is crucial. You can’t refill others from an empty cup. If you know your pastor well enough, try to support his hobbies.

Our pastor spends what limited time he can playing golf, sometimes with people who wouldn’t normally come to church. He sees them where they are and loves them. It’s amazing how just living Christ’s light can draw people.

Gift cards towards his hobbies are a great way to encourage him to take the time to enjoy himself. Pastors can really struggle with spending money on non-essentials, especially since most of them do not make large salaries.

Our pastor also does woodworking part-time. While I wouldn’t know what to get him for his shop, a gift card to Lowe’s is always a good idea. And I like the idea that our pastor is a carpenter and so is his boss!

But most of all, take a moment to truly just thank him (and his often unsung wife!) for all they do for the church. Kind words go a long way to encourage and uplift.

7 thoughts on “Why and How to Celebrate Pastor Appreciation Month

  1. I didn’t know October was pastor appreciation month until I saw this earlier this month. What a great post to write! Our pastors work so hard for us. We honestly *due to sickness running through our house and being out of town* have not been to church in nearly two months … THANKFULLY that ends tomorrow.

    1. Glad you’re feeling better! Missing that much church weighs on my heart after awhile. I missed three months earlier this year due to surgery and recovery.

  2. I always feel grateful to Pastor. I value their scarifies.

  3. Thank you so much for writing this! My husband is a pastor. Not many understand the nature of the load they carry. I appreciate that you do, that you work to support your pastor, and that you are sharing what you understand with others! ❤️

    1. I hope it helps people just be a bit more aware of the sacrifice of service, yours as well.

  4. Great tips, Jen! I would have never thought of the guitar picks and my pastor plays in our band!
    Our pastors do so much for us!

    1. They made me laugh. I PICK Jesus 😂

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