How to Celebrate Pastor Appreciation Month: When, Why and How

Thomas Costello Uncategorized Leave a Comment

This October, we’ll celebrate pastors and church leaders worldwide during Pastor Appreciation Month. This observance began as a way to show gratitude to those who have given their time and talents to selflessly serve in the ministry.

While there are many ways to show appreciation for your pastor, we’ve gathered some ideas to make this year’s celebration extra special. Whether you’re wondering about the history of pastor appreciation month, looking for Bible verses to share, or searching for creative gift ideas, read on for inspiration!

Click here if you want to skip ahead to the pastor appreciation month ideas.

Estimated reading time: 10 minutes

When is Pastor Appreciation Month and Day in 2022?

The entire month of October is designated as Pastor Appreciation Month. There’s also a day specially dedicated to honoring your pastors and clergy.

Pastor Appreciation Day falls on the second Sunday of October. In 2022, Pastor Appreciation Day day will be observed on October 9th.

Be sure to mark your calendar!

Our pastors are a source of strength, guidance, and support. They go above and beyond to care for our needs, both spiritual and emotional.

This month, and Pastor Appreciation Day in particular, provides an opportunity to let your pastor know how much you appreciate all they do for you and your community

The History of Pastor or Clergy Appreciation Month

Pastor or Clergy Appreciation Month and Clergy Appreciation Day became an official observance in 1992. The organization Focus on the Family first initiated the drive to promote October as National Clergy Appreciation Month.

H.B. London was particularly instrumental in championing this initiative. He worked with Focus on the Family for about two decades and was passionate about building ministries and resources to serve pastors.

Hallmark started offering Clergy Appreciation cards in 2002. Along with other retailers, they continue to offer a variety of cards and gifts to help people express their gratitude during this month.

This month is an opportunity to honor all pastors, priests, reverends, ministers, and other clergy members.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the estimated number of employed clergy in the U.S. is 50,790.

Brainstorm a list of people you know serving in ministry. Of course, there’s your local pastor. But maybe you also know a missionary or pastor sitting outside the spotlight. These individuals may not get a lot of attention, but deserve recognition. They are working hard and pouring out their lives for others.

5 Reasons You Should Celebrate Pastor Appreciation Month

In practice, we should always be showing love and expressing thanks for the important people in our life. But we all have busy lives, and it’s easy to forget.

Similar to Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, and Father’s Day, the purpose of observances like Pastor Appreciation Day isn’t to honor special people in our lives ONLY at these specific times. Instead, it serves as a welcome reminder to take some extra steps and plan ahead to make it special.

Here are 5 reasons why you should celebrate Pastor Appreciation Month:

1. Your pastor works hard

Pastoring is not an easy job! Your pastor works long hours, often behind the scenes. Preparing a sermon requires lots of work, and that’s not all they do. They’re also responsible for leading, administration, and pastoral care responsibilities.

In addition, the schedule is relentless. Your pastor is responsible for services 52 weekends a year. And that’s not counting mid-week services, holidays, and other special events.

Also, a pastor is one of the first people called in times of emergency. And you can never predict when accidents, hospitalizations, or tragic events will occur, whether it’s the middle of the night or while your pastor is on vacation.

Although people like to joke that preachers only work one day a week, that couldn’t be further from the truth.

2. Your pastor deals with tough stuff

Pastors have to deal with difficult and often tragic situations. In any given week, they might hear about someone getting a terminal cancer diagnosis, a marriage on the brink of divorce because of adultery, or an untimely death.

Although pastors know that dealing with these issues is part of their job, it doesn’t make it easy. It’s not uncommon for this to become a challenge for their mental and emotional health over time.

And there are other issues that can cause stress. When you work with people, things inevitably get messy! Pastors must regularly deal with gossip, conflict, and difficult relational dynamics within the church.

It’s not always easy being the person everyone comes to with their problems and complaints. That’s what makes Pastor Appreciation Day so important.

And yet, they continue to show up week after week because they know that God has called them to ministry.

3. Your pastor needs encouragement

Pastors are often seen as being strong and capable of handling any situation that comes their way. But they’re only human.

They need support, words of affirmation, and encouragement just like everyone else. In fact, because of the unique challenges they face, pastors often need it more than most.

You can’t please everyone all the time. However, pastors are faced with serving a wide variety of personalities. All these people have different standards and opinions regarding preaching, leadership, and ministry care.

Faith leaders must also address complicated social, political, and cultural issues. And with today’s technology and social media, they are under the spotlight and scrutinized for everything they say and do.

It’s a ton of pressure.

Suffice it to say that your pastor desperately needs to hear “well done” and other words of encouragement. You can support them with prayers, notes, and more – especially during Pastor Appreciation Month.

4. Your pastor needs rest

Based on all we’ve mentioned above, your pastor needs regular time off to rest and recharge. Unfortunately, most pastors don’t get enough vacation time, and Sunday is always coming!

Most pastors feel like they’re always on call. They might feel guilty taking a day off, even when desperately needing it.

But the truth is, your pastor needs regular time away from work to prevent burnout. They need time to relax, enjoy hobbies and interests outside of the church, and connect with family and friends.

Pastor Appreciation Month is the perfect time to rally around your pastor and their family to give them a much-needed break. You can provide meals, do chores or errands, or provide them with a vacation or getaway.

By helping your pastor rest, you’re also helping to prevent burnout. And that’s something we can all get behind.

5. Your pastor deserves honor

We’re not trying to guilt you into celebrating Pastor Appreciation Day…but the Bible is very clear about honoring our leaders.

And that includes our pastors!

When we take the time to celebrate Pastor Appreciation Month, we are acknowledging them for their service. We are saying “thank you” for all they do to shepherd us and lead us closer to Jesus.

It’s a way of showing our appreciation for their dedication, hard work, and sacrificial love.

To add to this point, here are some Bible verses that speak to both those who honor and what the Bible says to encourage.

Bible Verses for Pastor Appreciation Month

What does the Bible say about honoring our pastors and leaders? It’s clear that we’re meant to show them honor, respect, and love.

Now we’re not talking about putting up with abuse, corruption, or dictatorships. While no pastor is perfect, the vast majority have the best of intentions and love people. So, there are many verses that encourage us to respect, submit to, and follow our spiritual leaders.

Here are a few examples:

  • “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. Live in peace with each other.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:12-13
  • “The elders who are good leaders are to be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who work hard at preaching and teaching. For the Scripture says: Do not muzzle an ox while it is treading out the grain, and the worker is worthy of his wage” – 1 Timothy 5:17-18 
  • “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.” Hebrews 13:17

10 Verses to Encourage Your Pastor During Pastor Appreciation Month

As you pray for your pastor and write notes of encouragement, consider using these scriptures and others.

  1. “It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.” – Deuteronomy 31:8
  2. “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.” – Joshua 1:9
  3. “Seek the Lord and his strength; seek his presence continually!” – 1 Chronicles 16:11
  4. “But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” – Isaiah 40:31
  5. “How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who brings good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, ‘Your God reigns.'” – Isaiah 52:7
  6. “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make straight your paths.” -Proverbs 3:5-6
  7. “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” – Matthew 28:29-30
  8. “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” – Romans 15:13
  9. “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” – Ephesians 2:10
  10. “We give thanks to God always for all of you, constantly mentioning you in our prayers” – 1 Thessalonians 1:2

10 Ideas to Celebrate Your Pastor on Pastor Appreciation Day

Every pastor is different, so consider their particular likes, hobbies, and personality type when deciding what to do for them.

Here are a few ideas for Pastor Appreciation Month to help you start brainstorming how to show some love.

  1. Plan a special service or event in their honor
  2. Give them a gift card to their favorite restaurant or store
  3. Present them with a plaque, certificate, or another award
  4. Take them out for lunch or coffee
  5. Write a letter of appreciation and have others sign it
  6. Give them tickets to a play, concert, or another event
  7. Buy them a book or resource that they’ve been wanting
  8. Have the children in your church make cards or gifts for them
  9. Offer to provide housecleaning or yard service for their family
  10. Give them a certificate for a vacation or getaway

Conclusion

Pastor Appreciation Month is a great time to show your pastor how much you care. By expressing your gratitude and appreciation, you can let them know that their hard work and dedication do not go unnoticed.

This is also an opportunity to encourage them in their faith and let them know that they are making a difference in your life and the lives of others. Use this month as a way to build up your pastor and show them the impact that they have made in your life.

What other ideas do you have for honoring your pastor? Please feel free to share them in the comments below.

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