Lutheran Church Extension Fund

Pastor Appreciation Day

Pastor Appreciation Day became popular in 1992 when Hallmark introduced greeting cards. In 1994, Focus on the Family led the charge to celebrate pastors. It encouraged congregations to celebrate their pastor in a special way on the second Sunday of October. The idea of showing appreciation for your pastors is biblical and can be traced back to Paul’s Epistles. For instance, in his first letter to Timothy, Paul says, “Let the elders who rule well be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in preaching and teaching,” 1 Timothy 5:17 (ESV).

Honoring pastors for Pastor Appreciation Day is vitally important. Hebrews 13:17 (ESV) reads, “Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you.” Pastors are called and entrusted to watch over God’s flock. This can be an overwhelming task filled with many unseen stresses and sacrifices. Many never see all a pastor does for a congregation. Unintentionally, they slip through the cracks, and we assume that they are doing fine and getting their needs met.

Imagine if everyone in the congregation made a small gesture to show your pastor appreciation. We celebrate what we appreciate! To celebrate and honor your pastor is an investment in your ministry. Happy and healthy workers tend to serve happy and healthy ministries.

Here’s a checklist of ways to consider encouraging and celebrating your pastor this October:

  • Tell him you pray for him and his family regularly—and DO IT!
  • Send a personal thank you note, text and call expressing your appreciation.
  • Plan a special reception—congregational potluck, sit-down dinner or light desserts after church.
  • Offer your pastor an “extra” self-care day or two, including days off and vacation.
  • Gift your pastor and his family a night out or weekend away.
  • Present a gift card, a gift basket or another offering to your pastor.
  • Provide funding to allow your pastor to attend a conference to enrich his skillset.
  • Volunteer at the church to reduce his work load.
  • Show up and commit to worshipping regularly.
  • Invite your pastor to a sporting event or outing, like a ballgame, golfing, etc.
  • Offer to babysit (if appropriate) for your pastor and his wife, so they can have a date night on occasion.
  • Make your pastor and his family a meal—in fact, set up a regular schedule for them!
  • Give your pastor a gift card to a favorite coffee shop, restaurant, bookstore or home improvement store.
  • Produce a video with a cross-section of the congregation telling how your pastor has touched lives in your ministry.
  • Send your pastor and family on a vacation.
  • Invite your pastor and his family to dinner at your home.
  • Work with your pastor to plan his sabbatical.
  • Send your pastor to a Grace Place Wellness Retreat!
  • Add your own ideas.