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Giving Thanks in October?

By Heath

October is more than a time of the year that is dedicated to pumpkin flavored everything, postseason baseball, and bonfires. It’s also Pastor Appreciation Month! The leaders of our individual churches work extremely hard each day to share His word and strengthen their respective Christ-filled communities. To give thanks and show them how much you appreciate their hard work, we have compiled a list of thoughtful gift ideas!

1. Craft a Gift

Express true appreciation for your pastor this month by carving some time out of your schedule to be crafty. Put together a goody basket with his or her favorite treats along with a meaningful note or go even further by getting out the tools to construct a wooden cross that could be hung on a wall of the church. Whatever type of gift you give, big or small, show your pastor true appreciation by dedicating a lot of time to it.

2. Plan a Getaway

Since your pastor is so concerned with caring for you, your family, and the entire church, they hardly ever make time for spiritual rest. Unfortunately, many pastors additionally do not take a Sabbatical from the alter for years. Provide your own pastor with the opportunity to rest his or her mind and reconnect with God by planning a getaway. Whether it is helping pay for a two-day trip to see family or booking a weeklong ministry retreat, you can guarantee your pastor will return feeling refreshed and eager to continue sharing the gospel.

3. Organize a Church Makeover

Channel your inner Chip and Joanna Gaines by giving the church an interior makeover. Talk with your church’s secretary and collect a small donation from the congregation for something the pastor would greatly enjoy. This type of project can be as small or big as the church would like to make it. Update the sanctuary by installing new carpet and painting the walls, purchase a nice, solid oak pulpit, or redecorate your pastor’s office with scripture-filled décor. No matter what area of the church you decide to give a facelift, your pastor will love it!

4. Throw a Surprise Party

This is a gift that needs to be kept quiet from your pastor! Start a group chat or send out an email inviting the congregation to come together after the Sunday service on October 14th (Pastor Appreciation Day). Celebrate your pastor by meeting back up at the church and telling others to bring a tasty dish or heading to his or her favorite restaurant. Encourage the rest of the church to also show thanks by writing thoughtful cards for your pastor and bringing them to the party. A surprise party will create an afternoon full of memories and fellowship for your pastor and church family. 

5. Pay for an Experience

While it doesn’t hurt to give your pastor an item that looks nice, a sentimental gift is the most important. One minor example would be to give your pastor a gift card to the movies or a nice restaurant. Yes, watching a newly released Pixar movie or eating a juicy burger might not seem like the BEST gift, but you are providing your pastor with an opportunity to spend time away from the church with friends and family. If you are thinking about an “experience” gift, ask your pastor what he or she likes to do outside of the church. You never know. Your pastor could be tagging along with you to next week’s concert or ball game.

As a whole, the meaning behind Pastor Appreciation Month isn’t to give our pastors cliché cards or items they will NEVER use in a thousand years. It is a time where we can truly display how much we appreciate them for their commitment to our churches. Get creative and give thanks this month!

Christian Retreats Network /

Based at Lake Williamson / PO Box 620 / Carlinville, IL 62626