October is Pastors’ Appreciation Month! This month, congregations all over the world take time to honor and reflect on the pastors in their lives. The role of a pastor is one that often demands unwavering dedication, selflessness, and a strong commitment to the well-being of the church community, and while one month will never be enough to truly express our gratitude, it is a reminder to share our thanks and support. Here are a few ways you can show appreciation for your pastor this month:
- A personal note. A heartfelt thank-you can go a long way. Make sure to include specific examples of how you have seen God moving through your pastor or ways they have positively impacted your life or the lives of your loved ones and church community.
- Organize a potluck. Coordinate with members of the congregation to host a potluck or dinner in honor of your pastor and their family. Sharing a delicious meal together fosters a sense of community and appreciation.
- Give the gift of time. Pastors often can find themselves fighting exhaustion and burnout, and may be struggling to get enough time with their families or spouse. If they have children, offer to babysit or help with church duties or household chores to give them some much-needed time to recharge.
- Give a special gift. Maybe this is the year to skip another tie. Think about your pastor as an individual person with their own interests and preferences, and try to find something intentional and thoughtful that they might be surprised by!
- Public thanks. Pastors serve for the glory of God. But that shouldn’t stop us from sharing that we value them as servant leaders in our community! Take some time during church service to publicly acknowledge and express gratitude for your pastor, or get together with your church family to make a thank-you video! However you do it, make sure to mention specific ways your pastor has made a difference in your life!
We never need to wait until October to show our love, support, and gratitude for the spiritual leaders in our lives - but this month is a great reminder of the appreciation we feel all year. From all of us lay members at the Oregon Conference––thank you, pastors, for all that you do!