October 8, 2023 designated as Pastor Appreciation Sunday

September 5, 2023
October 8, 2023 designated as Pastor Appreciation Sunday

Your pastor and ministry staff need encouragement more than ever before! They need to know that you are lifting them and their families in prayer every day. Pray for their health, for wisdom, discernment, courage, daily needs, spiritual blessings, and anything you would pray for your own family.

This designated day provides church members an opportunity to tangibly express their love and commitment to pastors and ministry staff members who serve our Lord and His church.

Many churches focus on expressing appreciation throughout the month of October with gifts or special meals. This is a great time to say “thanks” to staff and their families in creative and meaningful ways. Consider planning events or activities to show appreciation to your pastor and other ministry staff.

Plan early and be sure to honor the spouses of staff members for their commitment as well. Keep in mind that events or activities that might embarrass the pastor and/or staff members or their spouses should be avoided.

Children are never too young to begin to learn how to love their pastor and every age group can show appreciation.  Here are a few ideas.

Preschoolers and children can create handmade cards or crafts and collect snacks to make a snack basket for pastor/staff.

Students might initiate a workday to wash windows, wash cars, or do yard work at a time that is convenient for the pastor/staff and their families. Students can show their creativity by making a sign, poster or video honoring the pastor and ministry staff.

Adults might choose to do one or more of the following either individually or as a Sunday School class or small group.  

  • Arrange childcare and provide restaurant and theater gift cards for a date night.  

  • Provide baked treats or a meal to deliver to the family or to the church staff on a specific day.  

  • Host a pastor/staff appreciation meal on a Sunday after worship.  

  • Take the family out for a meal or to a sporting event.  

  • Mow their lawn or weed flowerbeds.  

  • Help with auto or home repairs/maintenance or hire someone if no one in the church is able to perform these tasks.  

  • Hire someone to assist with housework to provide a respite for the staff member’s family.  

  • Acknowledge achievements of pastor/staff and family. 

  • Send cards/notes of encouragement.  

  • Find out about a large item that the pastor/staff member has been saving for and collect money as a group to buy it. 

  • Gift cards to favorite restaurants, local specialty stores or Amazon.  

  • Movie, theater, or sporting event tickets.  

  • Give a gift certificate for a weekend getaway to a hotel, bed & breakfast, or state park cabin. Provide childcare if needed.  

  • Gift certificate to hair/nail salon/spa for spouse/female staff.  

Keep in mind that gifts of cash or a cash equivalent, such as gift cards, are considered by IRS guidelines to be taxable to your church’s employees and should be included as wages on their W-2. 

Continue to show appreciation as a church throughout the year. Here are some ways a church of any size can affirm their pastor’s ministry. 

  • Provide scholarships for the pastor/staff members’ children to go to camps or other student activities.  

  • Recognize ministry anniversaries, family birthdays and anniversaries. 

  • Support and encourage through regular communication. Be positive on social media. Share only good things about your church and church staff.  

  • Respect the pastor/staff member’s family time. 

  • Evaluate salary and vacation package and be as generous as possible. 

  • Budget for an annual renewal retreat, conferences, and continuing education. 

  • Schedule a sabbatical after every 5-7 years.