Showing Appreciation to Your Pastor + Staff

September 21, 2021
Showing Appreciation to Your Pastor + Staff

A Message from the ABSC Executive Director

Dear Church Leader, 
I want to encourage your church to participate in Pastor + Ministry Staff Appreciation during the month of October. Your pastor and ministry staff need encouragement more than ever before.

Church members have a great opportunity during this month to tangibly express their love and commitment to pastors and ministry staff members who give of themselves in a sacrificial way to serve our Lord and His church. Pastor + Staff Appreciation Day is October 10, 2021. Your church may choose another day to fit your calendar. Many churches focus on expressing appreciation throughout the month of October.

Please remember the spouses and children who play a supporting role in ministry. 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. Feel free to share this information with any group that might wish to implement the ideas.

J.D. “Sonny” Tucker
ABSC Executive Director

Encourage Your Pastor+Staff through Prayer and Words of Affirmation 

Your pastor and ministry staff members need to know that you are lifting them and their families in prayer. Pray for their health, for wisdom, discernment, courage, daily needs, spiritual blessings, and anything you would pray for your own family.

Send a card, text, email or social media message to let your pastor/ministry staff know that you are still connected with them and with your fellow church members. Ask them to pray for you as you come up with creative ways to witness to your neighbors.

Honor Pastor+Staff on Social Media

On October 1, we will be posting on our Facebook page, @ArkansasBaptists, a giveaway for pastors and ministry staff. To enter your pastor/church staff member to win, follow these two steps: 1) Like this post (not a shared post/photo); 2) In the comments, nominate your pastor/church staff and tell us what church they’re from and why you appreciate them. If you are a pastor/church staff member, you might enter another pastor/staff member that you appreciate. The winner will be randomly selected and announced on November 5.

Contactless Methods of Appreciation 

  • Call and pray with them over the phone.
  • Organize a drive-by appreciation parade and go to each pastor and staff member’s home with posters, balloons, and other expressions of appreciation.
  • Put up yard signs expressing appreciation so that the pastor/staff members will be greeted with words of encouragement.
  • Have a restaurant meal delivered to their home.

Bless Your Pastor+Staff through Acts of Service

Be prepared with suggestions such as...

  • Babysitting/childcare.
  • Mow their lawn or weed flower beds.
  • Prepare a meal or treat them to a restaurant meal.
  • Help with auto or home repairs and 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 families.
  • Send cards/notes of encouragement.

Celebrate Your Pastor+Staff with Gifts/Gift cards

  • Gift cards to favorite restaurants, department, online or specialty stores.
  • Basket of favorite snacks.
  • Movie, theater, or sporting event tickets.
  • Gift certificate for a weekend getaway to a hotel, bed & breakfast, or state park; provide childcare if needed.
  • Gift certificate to hair/nail salon/spa for spouse/female staff.
  • Gift card for online retailers.

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.

Appreciation from Each Age Level

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

Adults/Young Adults

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

Be creative with ways to show appreciation. This article is provided to get your congregation thinking about ways to celebrate and encourage your pastor and others in ministry positions.

Show Appreciation as a Church Throughout the Year 

  • Provide scholarships for the pastor and staff members’ children to go to camps or other student activities.
  • Recognize ministry anniversaries, family birthdays, and anniversaries.
  • Support and encourage through regular communication.
  • Respect pastor and staff’s family time.
  • Evaluate salary and vacation package and be as generous as possible (call ABSC for assistance).
  • Budget for annual renewal retreat/conference time/continuing education.
  • Schedule a sabbatical every five to seven years.

Planning to Show Appreciation...

Plan early. Be sure to honor spouses of staff members. Include them in any type of recognition or expression of appreciation. Events or activities that might embarrass the pastor and/or staff members or their spouses should be avoided.

Share this article with a designated individual or groups such as deacons, personnel or hostess committee, and small groups/Sunday School classes who will promote Pastor + Ministry Staff Appreciation.

Follow up on assignments. Make sure that all details are planned.

Enjoy the benefits of a pastor and ministry staff who feel loved and appreciated.