Showing appreciation to your pastor is commended in Scripture. “Now we ask you, brothers and sisters, to acknowledge those who work hard among you, who care for you in the Lord and who admonish you. Hold them in the highest regard in love because of their work” -1 Thessalonians 5:12–13.
The job of a pastor is literally, a “shepherd” who is to teach the Word of God, show the love of God, and lead the children of God on earth. Pastors should be held in “the highest regard.” In fact, a good teaching pastor is “worthy of double honor,” according to 1 Timothy 5:17.
Showing appreciation for your pastor is a good thing. He needs to be appreciated, and, what’s more, he needs to know he’s appreciated. There’s a difference. If your appreciation for your pastor is never expressed, then it’s hard for him to know that you actually harbor good feelings about him.
Many churches observe the month of October as “Pastor Appreciation Month,” and this can be a helpful prompt to sharing encouragement. October is as good a month as any to love on your pastor—but your appreciative words and actions shouldn’t be limited to one month out of the year.
There are many ways to show appreciation to your pastor. A simple word of encouragement, verbal or written, is always nice. Send a card. Write a note. Include some cookies with the note. Give your pastor a special plaque or certificate. Find out what is his favorite food or place to eat; then invite him and his family over for that food or give him a gift card to that restaurant.
The church ladies can commit to baking a different kind of cake each month and deliver it to your pastor. Give him tickets to see his favorite sports team. Give him a gift he can use long-term: a book he’s been wanting, a dry cleaning coupon, a fuel card, car wash coupons, a necktie.
Send your pastor and his family on a vacation, or just a weekend getaway. Schedule a special service and plan on testimonies from the congregation to honor your pastor.
Collect photos and memorabilia and put together a scrapbook for your pastor, covering the time of his ministry thus far. Or use those photos to create a video or a slide show.
Have the Sunday school children draw pictures and present them to your pastor in a special ceremony. Remodel his office.
A few Scriptures to help you understand the need to show appreciation;
Hebrews 13:17 – 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.
Jeremiah 3:15 – And I will give you shepherds after my own heart, who will feed you with knowledge and understanding.
1 Thessalonians 5:12-13 – 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.
1 Timothy 5:17 – Let the elders who rule well be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in preaching and teaching.
2 Timothy 4:2 – Preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching.
Romans 10:14 – How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching?
Probably the best way to show appreciation to your pastor is to follow his instructions to follow Jesus. News of the church’s fidelity to Christ was all that the apostle John needed to be encouraged: “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth” (3 John 1:4). Nothing will make your pastor happier than for you to “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 3:18).
Your pastor needs your encouragement, so show your appreciation for him and his work. Hebrews 13:17 is a clear instruction to honor your pastor, and it gives the reasons why: “Have confidence in your leaders and submit to their authority, because they keep watch over you as those who must give an account.
Do this so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no benefit to you.” Your pastor watches out for your spiritual well-being. Will you make his job a “burden” or a “joy”? Give him some joy today, and send some appreciation his way.