Thankful for Ministers!
October is Minister Appreciation month – what are you doing to show your senior pastor and ministerial staff appreciation? All areas of ministry have been impacted by Covid for well over a year now, and church staff members – senior pastors in particular – have continued to lead congregations through this uncharted territory. Minister Appreciation month provides the perfect time to express your thankfulness to these devoted and hard-working leaders.
1 Thessalonians 5:12 says, “Now we ask you, brothers and sisters, to acknowledge those who work hard among you, who care for you in the Lord and who admonish you.” [NIV]
What are meaningful ways that you and your church can “acknowledge” your ministerial staff? If you need some ideas, here are 10 Simple Things you can do to show appreciation right now. One of the easiest things is to tell ministers how much they mean to you, an example of how God used them to speak to you or simply say “thank you” for all that they do for the Kingdom.
Minister Appreciation Month is a great opportunity for CMBA churches to commit to praying for their pastors every day throughout the month. Preschoolers can learn to say “thank you God for Pastor John” as they pray together, distribute notecards to student, young adult and senior adult Sunday School classes for folks to write a quick note of thanks and collect before they leave, and churches with social media can use that platform to celebrate staff and remind members to pray for them daily.
Galatians 6:6 says, “Nevertheless, the one who receives instruction in the word should share all good things with their instructor.” [NIV]
How can CMBA churches share “all good things” with their ministerial leadership? Showing appreciation can happen individually and corporately. The website tithe.ly shares some great ideas that ministers universally appreciate. How about learning the minister’s favorite restaurants and giving a gift card, or ask when you can have that restaurant deliver a meal to their home, or pay for services pastors might otherwise not obtain for themselves, such as a lawn service or house cleaning.
Organize a group of members to coordinate bringing a lunch to staff in the church office once each week during the month of October. Make sure someone is there to offer a special meal blessing, thanking God for those He has called to leadership there. Bonus points if the meal menus are staff members’ favorites!
As your church considers how to show appreciation and celebrate the senior pastor and other ministerial staff, be sure to reflect on them as individuals by asking, “what would make them feel appreciated? How could we make them feel truly blessed?” For some pastors this might be a gift that includes their families, who share in the weight of ministry year-round, or others might prefer a monetary collection instead of a purchased gift.
Minister Appreciation month provides the opportunity to tangibly show your church’s gratitude through words, gifts and other sources of affirmation. How lovely for ministers to become reenergized and encouraged by their flock.