Fall is my favorite time of year! The leaves begin to change, footballs begin to fly, and the temperature begins to drop. I love it.

But, there’s another reason why I love this time of year: many churches show their heartfelt appreciation for their pastors and church leaders during this season (October is known as “Pastor Appreciation Month”). And for good reason. Pastors work diligently to feed, lead, protect, and comfort their churches.  They often have to sacrifice time with their families to attend to the work of the church. They often deal with criticism from the very people they are called by God to lead. They often find themselves burning the candle at both ends with little or no time to rest.

So, I’m excited the season is upon us when churches begin to show their appreciation for their pastor(s). And it is right and biblical for them to do so:

“Remember those who led you, who spoke the word of God to you; and considering the result of their conduct, imitate their faith…Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they keep watch over your souls as those who will give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with grief, for this would be unprofitable for you.”

Hebrews 13:7,17

“The elders who rule well are to be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who work hard at preaching and teaching.”

1 Timothy 5:17

So, I hope you are planning to show your appreciation to your pastor (and associate pastors if your church has a church staff).  If you need help thinking of ways to bless your pastor, here are 15 ideas to get you started:

  1. Give cash and/or gift cards. Instead of buying him a book (that he may already own), give him cash or a gift card, along with a handwritten note of thanks.  Let him decide how to spend it!
  2. Volunteer to babysit (or petsit) so that he and his wife can have a date night (or weekend getaway). Sometimes pastors and their wives struggle to find time for themselves. Volunteer to babysit the kids and send the pastor and his wife out for a relaxing time together. Bonus: Pay for their dinner as well!
  3. Provide tickets to a sporting event. I am a huge Kentucky football and basketball fan. I’m guessing your pastor is a fan of some type of sports team too. If you have season tickets, why not bless your pastor and his family to go to a game? Even if you don’t have season tickets, why not buy tickets for the family?
  4. Purchase season passes to an amusement park. If your pastor has kids at home, you might purchase season passes for the entire family to go to a nearby amusement park. Their kids will definitely thank you for it!
  5. Stock up on coffee or other preferred beverage. Find out if your pastor is a coffee drinker or if he prefers soda, tea, or some other type of beverage. Once you find out, make sure that he never has to worry about running out!
  6. Offer vacation home for a getaway. If you own a cabin or condo, why not offer it to your pastor and his family (free of charge, of course) for a relaxing getaway?
  7. Give him an extra week of paid vacation. This really costs the church nothing (other than a week’s pulpit supply), but it can mean so much to a pastor and his family. This is especially true if the church cannot afford to give their pastor a raise. If you can’t give him a raise, give him an extra week of paid vacation!
  8. Bless his children. It can be hard to be the child of a pastor. Pastors’ kids often feel like they live under a microscope. Find ways to bless these young people. Maybe it’s a gift card, a toy, or just a note of encouragement to let them know that you love them.
  9. Take dinner to his home. Churches will often prepare meals for a new pastor and his family during his transition into a new home and community. Who says that needs to stop? Bless the entire family by finding out their favorite meal and delivering it to the front door, hot and ready to be enjoyed!
  10. Sponsor a “family night out”. Give cash or gift certificates to allow the pastor to take his family out for a family fun night. Pay for dinner as well as tickets to a movie or a round of miniature golf. Make it a fun night for the whole family.
  11. Pray for your pastor and his family each week. The burdens that your pastor carries are heavy. He needs your support. Pray for him and then send him a note to let you know that you have done so, and will continue to do so!
  12. Update his office. Surprise your pastor by giving him some new furniture or painting the walls. Make his office a pleasant place to work.
  13. Take some things off his plate. One of the best ways to bless your pastor is to serve! Offer to help with some of the tasks that he doesn’t need to spend his time doing so that he can focus on his most important tasks.
  14. Pay for a conference or course. There may be a conference that your pastor wants to attend or an online training course that he wants to take, but he is reluctant to spend the church’s money to do so. Offer to pay for it with no strings attached!
  15. Don’t stop! Who says you have to stop after Pastor Appreciation Month ends? Instead, make these actions a regular way of showing appreciation to your pastor and his family throughout the year.

There you have it. 15 ways to bless your pastor. Pick one (or more) and show your pastor some love!

(Feel free to comment below to share other good ideas!)

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