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8 Highly Practical Ways to Appreciate Your Pastor!
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Gratefulness is a diminishing force in our world. Even good manners, politeness seem to be in short supply. We often live at such a fast pace its easy to lose sight of what we are grateful for. Unthankfulness, rudeness and disrespect rule, if we allow it. Even so, it shouldn’t be that way with God’s people. We are called to be the light in a dark world. (Mt. 5:16) It honors God and glorifies him when we cultivate grateful hearts in our every day living. (1 Th. 5:18)
In fact, it’s our responsibility to teach the next generation gratefulness. One good way we teach them gratefulness is by letting others know through our words and actions how they have benefited our lives. As with most life lessons, showing is much more effective than telling. The next generation must learn to appreciate others by watching it in action in our lives.
Appreciation has two primary meanings. One is to be thankful and the other is to increase in value. Have you examined what your behavior is teaching those around you about thankfulness and appreciation, lately? Are you teaching them to increasingly value our leadership? Moms, Dads are you teaching thankfulness by acting grateful toward each other.
Leaders are we teaching gratefulness for our government by praying for them? Or are we doing more pointing the finger than praying? Wherever you are in cultivating a grateful heart, won’t you join us as we explore ways to show appreciation to our local church authorities? Here are some practical tips to teach gratefulness by appreciating our leaders.
Send Thank You Card/Letter. Politeness and good manners is a lost art in our society. If I took a poll, how many could say I sent a thank you card to appreciate someone for a kind deed. A good friend of mine said, “It was six months after the fact. I kept forgetting and finally didn’t send it because it was too long.” According to the late Ann Landers you can still send a thank you card up to a year. Any longer than that, the giver probably won’t remember they gave you anything. So if nothing else, send your pastor a thank you card for a job well done this year. In other words, later is better than never but now is best.
Plan a Pastor Appreciation Day. Make it special. Make it a celebration. Plan a program for the day and invite pastor’s friends or ask for video messages from closest friends. Present or send bouquet of flowers or balloons. It’s a perfect time to include history review of ministry in the program. Add personal touches of member testimonials. You know what to do. Make it the best Pastor Appreciation Day ever.
Throw a Food Festival in their Honor. Invite the community. Theme the festival around their favorite ethnicity of food. Or mix it up and provide several kinds: Mexican, Italian, French, Asian, American, etc. Of course, a food festival is not a festival without music. Get the choir involved. Build a special choir for the festival day. According to the size of your congregation, enlist members to be a part of this special 100/1000 voice choir.
Present a plaque with words of appreciation. Framed words are inspiring too. Most people enjoy mementos that they can display in their home. Whatever you present, make it worthy. Treat it as an investment. I can hear someone saying, “I can’t afford an investment.” That’s all right; ask for the help of your brothers and sisters in Christ. Don’t try to appreciate your leadership alone. Make it something they will be happy to showcase in their home for years to come. In other words, it’s not in good taste to honor someone with something of poor quality.
Meet a Need. Find out what their greatest need is at this time. Perhaps one of their appliances recently went out. Maybe pastor has been struggling to keep an old clunker going to get their family around. Invest in a better vehicle for them. Or a health challenge may have come up to take their extra cash. Study to be one of God’s miracle workers in their life by meeting a need with no strings attached. Remember if what you-plus-members have come up with does not quite cover it; give what you have toward it. God may have gotten them just to the point where you pick it up or he may use someone else to make up the difference.
Fulfill a desire. Find out their greatest desire and fulfill it. Perhaps they have been dreaming of taking a week long vacation. Travel agents can hunt down really great deals these days. Have you considered a new suit of clothing for Pastor(s)? Again, think of it as an investment; buy the suit in completion with all accessories. Does your pastor own a really great family portrait or Pastor and spouse portrait? Commission an in-house artist or photographer to do their portrait. Commission it for their home or to showcase in the church.
Send Flowers. Think of it this way. Give flowers to the living to appreciate them and not only to honor the dead. It doesn’t just have to be for female pastors, either. Buy an arrangement for the pulpit in their honor. Place a beautiful floral arrangement in your pastor’s green room/pre-service area. If you send flowers make it an investment too. Buy at least 12-24 flowers. Its poor taste to send a puny bouquet of flowers. You may say, “But, what if 6 flowers are all I can afford?” Then our gentle suggestion would be to choose another appreciation method. There’s lots of ways to appreciate your pastor, right?
Send a Gift Basket. Fill it with things they enjoy. Cologne, perfume, lotions, candles and other personal care items make great gift baskets. Commission your favorite gift basket preparer or have some fun and fill it yourself with your pastor’s favorite items. Bath & Body Works and other similar stores are known for affordable great personal care gift baskets. Food gift baskets also make great gifts. Cookie baskets, fruit baskets, picnic baskets all sound good.
To sum it all up, don’t forget to Say Thank You. Sometimes we miss the simplest form of blessing our pastor. Especially if you haven’t done it in awhile remember to go verbally say thank you after one of his/her sermons. Let them know how much you appreciate their efforts. If one of their recent sermons really impacted your life; now is the time to tell them. In honor of all the pastors and leaders reading this: Happy Pastors Appreciation Month!
© Varn and Earma Brown. Most leaders enjoy appreciation. Your leader deserves special appreciation too! Varn and Earma, Co-Founders of Armorbearers International, help leaders and supporters build strong teams in the local church. To receive free 7 lesson mini-course and monthly newsletter “The Armorbearer Coach” visit at http://www.armorbearers.net/newsletter.htm or for other insightful articles and resources visit them on host site http://www.armorbearers.net