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Although it is a relatively new holiday, this event is biblical and can be traced all the way back to Paul’s letters. It is written in 1 Timothy 5:17, “Let the elders who rule well be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in preaching and teaching.” Notably in this text, Paul used the words “double honor” which gives us a greater impression that we need to make more efforts in showing these leaders our love and appreciation.
Currently, this Pastor Appreciation Day has become officially celebrated every second Sunday of October. Like one big family, Christians all over the world can now express the love and appreciation for our pastors.
Why Do We Need to Appreciate Our Pastors?
1) Pastors are God-given Leaders
If you study the verse below taken from the book of Jeremiah, you will realize that God has a special purpose for choosing these leaders we call “Pastors”. When Jesus ascended to heaven, He chose certain people — those whose heart beats like Him — to be the shepherds that will genuinely care for His people.
“Then I will give you shepherds after my own heart, who will lead you with knowledge and understanding.” – Jeremiah 3:15
These chosen individuals are the people that we call “pastors” in our churches. They are chosen and appointed by God because they have a proper and deep understanding of who God is and His Word. With this understanding, they know that whatever position they have, they can only depend on God and God alone.
“… to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up” – Ephesians 4:12
2) Pastors are our Earthly Mentors
Pastors are not only there to simply take care of God’s people like babies. They are also mandated to equip them with the knowledge of God’s Word so that they will be more effective in their daily Christian walk and service to God.
This is because God desires growth for every believer. He does not want any of His followers to remain as a child in the faith. Because if this is so, we would be Christians who can be easily trampled over by the devourer. Instead, He wants every believer to grow and become the person He designed them to be. This is why pastors are not only preachers of God’s Word, they are also disciplers who disciples every believer to also become a fruit-bearing worker of Christ.
3) Being a Pastor is Not an Easy Job
Pastors dedicate their lives to fulfill what God had commanded in His Word — to go, bear fruit, and have that fruit remain. And fulfilling this command is not an easy task. They are constantly exposed to persecutions, criticisms, slanders, misunderstanding, temptations, and more. But despite all of these, they still do God’s Word wholeheartedly.
Do you remember the time when you haven’t accepted Jesus yet? The time when you do not even believe in God? Those years when you are still trapped in the web of sin? Let us admit that during those times we were difficult people. Everyone has been through that.
But despite this, since our Pastors are filled with the love of Christ, we better people now because they did not give up on us. Just like our Lord Jesus Christ who loved us while we were still sinners.
Getting to Know Your Pastor – for Pastor Appreciation Day
Before jumping directly into the celebration, let us remember that Pastors have different personalities and preferences. You might be thinking of giving them spa tickets or parties, but that may or may not be what they prefer. Of course, whatever you do and give to your pastors will be gratefully accepted. But, giving more effort and consideration into things will make them feel a lot happier and fulfilled.
Thus, there is a need to fully understand and get to know our Pastors more. This step will allow you to appreciate this special event better and at the same time establish a closer relationship with your pastor. Building a better relationship with them makes this celebration a more genuine and heartfelt event for them. And that is exactly what will make this celebration a success.
Here are some getting-to-know tips we need to consider to have a memorable Pastor Appreciation Day.
1) Personality – Extrovert vs Introvert
Recently, we have a lot of personality clashes. But today, let us make it simple. Try to check if your pastor is an introvert or an extrovert person. Introverted people, in general, are people who prefer to de-stress and relax alone or with a few friends. These types of people don’t feel recharged when they are in a huge crowd or celebration.
On the other hand, Extroverts are those people who absolutely love being around other people. They usually feel recharged after talking to people in a crowd or gathering. Most of the time they are talkative and they like to be the center of attention. So, don’t be surprised if your pastor feels appreciated if your church throws him a birthday party, he must be an extrovert.
2) Interest – What does your Pastor like?
It would be easy to give a gift to someone with whom you are familiar with. This is because you have better chances of knowing his or her interests. So, knowing your pastor’s hobbies, likes, and dislikes will make things easy for you. This is not something difficult to find out. You can easily ask your pastor’s family, friends, and colleagues.
3) Age – isn’t just a number sometimes.
Whether we like it or not, there are some differences that were brought about by our age. Although some pastors are still highly active in their 50s, there is still a certain generation gap between them and young pastors in their 20s or 30s. A lot of things which may be considered by young pastors as unnecessary may become essential to the mature ones.
So, you should also put into consideration your pastor’s health and energy levels in making your plans.
How to Celebrate Pastor Appreciation Day
Now that we have known our Pastors better, we are now ready to think of ideas on how to make the celebration more enjoyable and fulfilling. There are a lot of different ways to celebrate Pastors Appreciation Day. You can simply greet them personally or give them a call. But, allow me to share with you some interesting ideas on how to show your Pastor you care.
Personal Gift Ideas to celebrate Pastor Appreciation Day:
1) Getaway Trip
Being a Pastor is a stressful job. And, one of the best ways most people would agree to relieve stress is traveling. Getting out of your usual environment allows you to take a break from your busy and stressful life. Likewise, this awesome gift will allow your pastors to refresh, clear their minds, and gain a new perspective on things.
2) Relaxation or Entertainment Coupons
There is a lot of relaxation and entertainment ideas nowadays. You can give a free spa coupon, health, and fitness membership coupon, or hair and body pampering coupon for pastors who deserve to experience peace and relaxation once in a while. For more outgoing pastors, you can give streaming app subscriptions, sports membership coupons, or outdoor adventure park coupons. These activities are fun and are surely enjoyable.
3) Dinner tickets
As the saying goes, “The way to a man’s heart is his stomach.” Even for Pastors, this is true. Food is another way to impress your pastors. If you know a really good restaurant and you know the food preferences of your pastor, this is definitely a good idea. You can enjoy a meal together with your pastor’s family and have a good conversation.
4) Customized items
Giving personalized items has become a trend nowadays, too. You can give Appreciation mugs, tumblers, clothes, etc. Adding their names on it or a simple quote would bring a unique touch and a personal touch to it. Whenever they see this item, they would never fail to remember you.
Group Gift Ideas to celebrate Pastor Appreciation Day:
You, your family, or your entire church can also team up and think of ways on how to express appreciation for your Pastors. Although this requires more planning and teamwork, you can save more money and effort on this idea. Plus, the process is enjoyable for you as a group as well.
1) Pastor Appreciation Celebration
In cooperation with other church leaders, you can organize a celebration or a party for your pastor. You can make a program where you and other members of your church can give appreciation messages for your pastor. Some of the talented members of the church can sing a song or dance, too. This idea allows you and other church members to celebrate and appreciate this special day together.
2) Medical Insurance and Other Helpful Sponsorships
Not all churches can afford to sponsor your Pastors Medical Insurance. Unfortunately, this is a sad reality. And although our Pastors are looked out for by God, humans as they are, there are times when they are physically weak. Naturally, as they age, this is inevitable as well. So, having sponsorships for medical insurance is a long-term idea that would help them now and in the future.
Other ideas that would be helpful in their work include gasoline sponsorships, helpful app sponsorships, etc.
Whatever budget you have right now does not matter. You could give a simple but meaningful appreciation card with a message or an expensive gift like an SUV. What is important is that it comes from your heart.
Showing our appreciation to our Pastors is done not just to make them feel good. But, it is an act of honoring our God who appointed them to help us in our Christian journey. Also, celebrating this special day allows us to reflect on all the things our pastors have done and sacrificed for us. So even when we are corrected and rebuked by them, our responses are good and upright because we fully know that our pastors are doing it out of love.
Above anything else, we should remember that we ought to honor our pastors not only during Pastors Appreciation Day. We must continue to love and respect them any day of the year. Yes, material things and acts of service are nice. But still, the best gift we can give to them is praying for them regularly, supporting them in the ministry, showing kindness, and being loyal to them.
Let us be those people who will serve as an encouragement for them to continue in their service to God. So, how about you? What can you do to encourage your Pastor today?