What are some good ways to demonstrate appreciation to my pastor?

Your desire to honor your pastor is biblical. First Thessalonians 5:12–13 says, "We ask you, brothers, to respect those who labor among you and are over you in the Lord and admonish you, and to esteem them very highly in love because of their work. Be at peace among yourselves." First Timothy 5:17 says, "Let the elders who rule well be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in preaching and teaching."

Appreciating your pastor is good. It's also important that your pastor knows he is appreciated. Many churches observe October as "Pastor Appreciation Month" in order to show their appreciation and encourage their pastors. It's as good a time as any to exhibit your appreciation, but giving this type of encouragement is beneficial all year round.

What are some practical ways to show appreciation? Make a point to give your pastor a word of encouragement—verbal and written. Mail him a card, send an email, or text. You can share a favorite verse and your own words of thanks. If you are able, include a gift card to a restaurant or bookstore or for one of his hobbies such as golf or the movies or going to a sporting event. Establish among others a ___–of-the-month club such as pies, desserts, yard work, or some other activity or items he would appreciate. You might offer him a gift certificate for dry cleaning, gas, a car wash, a new tie, etc. Larger gifts may be sending your pastor on a sabbatical, on vacation with his family, or a few hours away for a brief retreat (you may consider consulting with your church leadership or elders first). Have your small group, the children in Sunday school, and others all write him a note or draw him a note of appreciation. Underwrite a remodel of his office as he would like.

The above are all one-time gifts that can encourage a pastor's heart. But the best week-to-week way to honor your pastor is to adhere to his leadership. The apostle John wrote, "I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth" (3 John 1:4). A pastor's desire is that those he leads will "grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. …" (2 Peter 3:18). We honor our pastors and show our appreciation when we do this.

Pastors need positive feedback as office holders in church and as people in general. Hebrews 13:17 offers instruction and reasons why: "Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you." Your encouragement may turn your pastor's work from labor to joy. Send some appreciation his way even today.

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