On average, 90% of pastors work over 45 hours a week, but this year hasn’t been normal. A recent study shows that on top of their regular hours, pastors have increased their workload by 10-15 hours per week. They’ve stepped up to work nights, during holidays, and times outside of their usual routine.
Throughout October, and on Sunday the 11th (Pastor Appreciation Day), take the opportunity to show gratitude for hard work your pastor does day-in and day-out. Here are 7 gift ideas to help inspire you during these unparalleled times.
1. Give a special donation
COVID-19 has impacted the way people donate. Charitable giving has dropped, and these gifts are vital to your church’s ability to further their mission. Even if you already donate routinely, consider offering a special gift to the church in your pastor’s name.
Along with the donation, write a note expressing how the pastor has positively influenced your life and your relationship with God. Being able to see the fruits of their labor is not always possible, and your words and gift to the church can brighten their day and let them know the time and effort they put into being a pastor is worth it.
2. Activate others to donate
Inviting a friend, neighbor, co-worker, and others to donate to your church’s causes like a natural disaster fund or COVID relief initiative is a wonderful way to show your pastor you value them. It signifies that you don’t just acknowledge the great work they do, but you want to share it with others, and you’re spreading the word to show appreciation.
3. Engage to the fullest
Engage with your church beyond the walls by downloading their church app, watching their live stream, participating in prayer requests, and sharing their posts on social media. On Pastor Appreciation Day, share a video or social post thanking the pastor and staff for their work during this challenging time.
While it may not feel like a gift, know that fully engaging with your church helps them expand their reach within the community. In turn, this helps grow generosity and inspires others to engage.
4. Give a monetary token of appreciation
Monetary gifts are thoughtful, and there are a variety of ways to present these. If the congregation is coming together as one to offer a gift, cash trees are easy and fun to give (as well as receive). You can also give gift cards to the pastor’s favorite restaurants and grocery stores. Instead of buying them a book, get them an Amazon gift card so that they can pick out their own!
5. Update technology for the church
Technology can make a pastor’s job much easier because it saves time and helps keep everything organized. If your church struggles with obstacles like an old computer, dated church management systems, and sound systems, collect funds to update and replace them. Have everyone sign a card to present with the gift.
6. Medical supplies for ministry
Right now, churches are out in their communities and trying to help people that are suffering. Depending on where the church is focusing their current efforts, they could possibly use extra medical supplies whether it’s first aid kits, masks, and other basic items. Don’t hesitate to call your church and ask what items are needed most.
If you can tell your church is spread thin right now with extra cleaning duties, multiple community outreach programs, and other responsibilities, volunteer in your pastor’s name to help fill in where needed. If your church has plenty of volunteers and staff, consider personalizing the experience for your pastor. Do something just for them like mowing their lawn, cleaning their gutters, or making a casserole they can enjoy with their family for dinner.
A final thought
Remember, if you don’t know what your pastor would appreciate most right now, ask someone that’s close to them what they would enjoy. Assistants or close friends and family members are usually more than happy to give you a few ideas.
You don’t have to get your pastor items that are directly tied to the church but can provide a gift that they can use at home and in their everyday lives. Trust that you no matter what you give as a token of appreciation, your pastor will love and cherish it.