17 Pastor Appreciation Ideas In 2021 (Day To Pay Tribute)

Everyone likes to be appreciated, especially when the work being done is in service to others. If you need a few pastor appreciation ideas we’re here to help!

It’s important to show your pastor, your shepherd, your spiritual leader that you appreciate what they do and why they do it.  As a lay person I have always been rather lax about this but when prompted can manage a thank you note or a word of encouragement.

Reminding the flock to show appreciation isn’t difficult but should be done on a regular basis.  Beyond writing a thank you note, many churches get creative and plan events, thoughtful gifts, or presentations.

This article shares a few pastor appreciation ideas that I’ve been involved in or have heard about.

Why We Show Our Pastor Appreciation

Any individual in service to others is probably doing it from their heart and ministers would also say that it is a calling from God. So of course they don’t lead a congregation for the financial gain or the praise of men, however, the responsibility of those being served is to give thanks and recognize work done for their benefit.

Just as corporate worship is important to the body of Christ, so might corporate thanksgiving be to the shepherd of the flock.  So go ahead, show your pastor how important they are to you.

Going the extra mile to show appreciation is healthy for everyone!

>> How To Write A “Thank You” To Your Pastor

When Is Pastor Appreciation Day and Month (Clergy Appreciation Day)

If you’re not aware, there’s a given day to celebrate your pastor.  The official name is Clergy Appreciation Day and it was created to thank the contributions of priests, pastors, reverends, and ministers.

The concept of appreciation for the clergy was seen in the Bible. Several times in the Bible Paul mentions elders in the church being worthy of honor and high regard (Timothy 1 5:17 and Thessalonians 1 5:12).

We interpreted these messages as an opportunity to celebrate the efforts of leadership.

Clergy Appreciation Day, or what many refer to as Pastor’s Day is officially the Second Sunday in October. But appreciation shouldn’t be reserved for one day per year.

Make celebrating those who lead your church a habit (read my article on Things Christians Can’t Do)

How To Show Pastor Appreciation (Gift Ideas)

1. Invite Your Pastor To Your Home For A Meal

This can be just a family meal but even more fun to plan a small group potluck.  Keep it simple.  Keep it relaxed.  Enjoy each other’s company in a natural homey setting.

Some of the most memorable times spent with my pastor were actually at my house (not at church). On several occasions we invited his family to our home to learn about him “outside of church” and to thank him for his leadership.

2. Simple Gifts

Gift cards for coffee and restaurants are always appreciated as are items that are unique to your pastor’s interests.  Do you know their hobbies or pastimes?  If not, find out and help with supplies or items that would encourage them in their favorite pastimes.

3. Share Your Season Tickets

People who attend church come from all walks of life. Some people love the theater, while others are die-hard sports fans.

Chances are someone in the congregation has season tickets! Depending on the sport, season tickets can go unused and your minister would probably enjoy taking in a game.

4. Ask If You Can Pray for Them

Ministers are always praying for others. It’s part of their job!

Through an email, call, or conversation, ask them what they need prayer for.  After your conversation, follow through and let them know that you prayed.

Have you ever written a prayer down and sent it to the individual you are praying for?  Maybe this could be that opportunity. There’s nothing like getting a prayer delivered in the mail.

>> Also read: Best Church Anniversary Ideas and Themes

5. Treat the Pastor’s Spouse

Frequently the pastor’s spouse is treated as an extension of the pastor.  This is not always the greatest position to be in.

They should not be invisible.

Take the time to acknowledge them and recognize their contributions or talents whether offered to the church body or somewhere else.  In the past it seems the preachers were mostly men and their wives were mostly piano players.

Now pastors aren’t always men and spouses don’t always play the piano.  Investigate a bit and find out what would make the spouse feel appreciated.

6. Offer Your Vacation Home For the Weekend or Longer

We don’t all have second homes but those who do usually enjoy sharing them.  Too often, because the pastor might not be a close friend or someone we think about unless were at church we can forget that he would probably love the opportunity.

Work as a group and pitch in to gift your pastor a weekend getaway. It doesn’t have to be expensive or extravagant. Sometimes a weekend get-away can be in a rustic cabin or a quaint bed and breakfast in a neighboring town.

7. Write a Personal Thank You Letter

Thank you letters are often called “old fashioned”, but they never go out of style. Be sure to let your pastor know of a specific sermon topic or moment that was meaningful to you.

Pastors receive plenty of negativity from the congregation who are unhappy with something said or done.  By writing a supportive letter, you can help balance possible negativity with appreciation.

8. Remember Your Pastor’s Birthday

Put it on the calendar right now and then another date the week before to allow time for buying and sending the card.

Birthday cards are inexpensive and a great way to let someone you appreciate them.  Add your pastor’s name to the rest of the family names on the calendar!

9. Offer Your Professional Skills (teaching, tutoring, accountant, sports)

Are you a coach, teacher, or a wiz with numbers? Offer to do your pastors taxes for free (they might not want you knowing how much they make).

If you’re a coach, offer to give private lessons to their child.

10. Date Night for the Pastor

Offer to babysit while the couple spends some quality time together.  It’s never easy to prioritize romantic time with a schedule like a minister so making the offer will help them stick to it (read my article: Qualities of a Good Pastor).

11. Drop Off A Homemade Dessert

Everyone loves homemade cake or brownies. Taking the time to make something demonstrates care and effort that a store-bought gift can’t provide (plus it’s usually much cheaper).

Surprise your pastor by delivering it to their doorstep (make sure they are home) or leave it on their desk at church.

How to Pay Tribute To Your Pastor As A Group

 1.Organize a BBQ at Church, Park, or Beach

These tend to become annual events but there is nothing wrong with that.  Everyone loves a bbq, and most men love to be behind the bbq.

Chances are the church already has an annual meal of some kind but adding pastor appreciation would certainly be appropriate and would only take a few individuals planning a bit.

2. Surprise Your Pastor During Church (skit, congregation singing etc)

A surprise like this would require one of the others up front to be in on the surprise.  Skits, short videos with folks sharing their thanks, everyone standing and singing.

Often a minister’s personal achievements aren’t recognized but this would be a good time to do so.

  • Have they earned a special degree?
  • Had a book published?
  • Ran a marathon?

Find out and let them know you think it’s great!

3. Church  “Oscar Awards”

Have an award ceremony where the pastor wins all the prizes.  These are really fun.  You only need a few categories with some named competition (who are in on the joke).

Longest Sermon, Funniest Joke, Best Sermon, Worst Golf Score (ours plays golf), Best Dad or Mom, Weirdest Tie,

4. Small Group Appreciation

Most churches now have Bible study groups in the community (my long list of things to pray for).

It would be a wonderful added benefit for each group to take responsibility for one month of the year to find some way to bless the pastor.

5. Yardwork or Home Repairs

Everyone needs help with these at one time or another and usually it is costly.  This type of thing can usually be done in small teams.

Painting, weed pulling, grass mowing depending on the age and household of the pastor find out what would help them out.

6. T-Shirt Crew

What if everyone at church wore the same shirt that said “Thank You Pastor”? It would be fun, memorable, and thoughtful.

If a custom shirt is too informal for church (which is probably the case), consider inviting your pastor to an event and wear the T-shirts there.

A Prayer For Pastor Appreciation Day

Lord,

Bless us with your presence as we come together before you. First and foremost we thank you for the gifts and opportunities you’ve bestowed upon us.  We humbly ask that your will continues to mold our hearts as we grow in your image.

Your gift of today provides us with an opportunity to celebrate our church leadership. Our clergy tirelessly works to share your word with no only our congregation, but through us, and with our community. For that we thank you!

Continue to bless our clergy with your wisdom and strength.  Lead them higher, closer to you, so they may also lead us.

We thank you for blessings on them and within our church. Amen.

>> Also read my Prayers For Busy Mothers

Conclusion

Everyone feels better when they’ve been thanked and when they’ve been grateful.

The congregation of any church can take the opportunity to show their appreciation to their pastor and do it any time and in many ways.  This list is just to get you started. 

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing.
In everything give thanks,
for this is the will of God concerning you.