“If you were born with the ability to change someone’s perspective or emotions, never waste that gift. It is one of the most powerful gifts God can give—the ability to influence.” ―Shannon L. Alder
October is officially Pastor Appreciation Month! Our pastors do so much for us from shepherding us, to encouraging us, to reminding us what is true. Yet they often don’t receive the affirmation they deserve. While we hope that you continually pray for your pastors, there is a myriad of other ways that you can support and show your appreciation to your pastors this month. But there are also some things that, even with the best intention, may not get the right message across. Here are the five things that you should not give to your pastor:
This gift might come off as “I see you every week, and it’s time for a change.” While you might want to give them a fresh start, a better idea would be to go in on a group gift with other church members and pay for a relaxing weekend away with their spouse.
Large volumes of church history
Unless your pastor is a confessed huge history buff, it’s likely that they have already done more than a significant amount of historical studies. Instead, consider gifting them with a customized Bible or a book from one of their favorite fiction writers. Or write an encouraging letter—a little goes a long way.
A gift card to your favorite place to eat
You and your pastor are different from your pastor. Do your research and discover what your pastor’s family’s favorite places to eat may be. Or for creative points, give them a coupon for a home-cooked meal. Help relieve some of the busyness of life by helping with an everyday necessity.
There is a good chance that you and your pastor don’t share the same style. To help spruce up around the home, buy a gift certificate from a local lawn care provider or an in-home cleaning service. These options will help around the house in a major way.
Plants, pets, or anything that needs to be fed
With all the responsibilities that pastors hold, why add on to that list? If you want to give a gift of flora or fauna, give them and their families tickets to the aquarium or the zoo.
Obviously, it is important to know your pastor to appreciate them well. This is your chance to positively change the perspective or emotions of the one who gives their all every week. Giving the right gift could easily bring revitalization to a worn-down pastor with little margin or to an underappreciated pastor. While you give, you will also experience the joy of the Lord. Hebrews 13:16 says, “And don’t forget to do good and to share with those in need. These are the sacrifices that please God.”
And to all those pastors out there, we are so thankful for you and all you do for us and the gospel! Happy Pastor Appreciation Month!