This post is for church members, not pastors. Pastor Appreciation Month offers all of us an opportunity to bless the pastors who are blessing us. I’m going to assume that most of you have no idea what to give your pastor, so this post is to help you eliminate a handful of winceable options.
Stock greeting cards are fine, as long as they have meaningful hand-written notes inside. Appreciation will go to an even higher level by putting a gift card or cash inside. My point is that an empty, autographed stock greeting card is better than nothing—but not much better.
I have a pastor-friend who was given a sport coat last October by a church member. He actually liked it, but it did not fit, so it became another errand for him to run.
Clothing gifts can inadvertently be taken as clothing suggestions, which is hopefully not your intent. My suggestion is for you to let clothing gifts be given by family members.
If you share a love of reading with your pastor, consider a gift card to a bookstore (hint—LifeWay!), which gives him the flexibility to get what he really wants and needs, instead of what you hope he does.
Also, consider the probability that your pastor already has a resource account to cover this important need. If your pastor enjoys non-religious books, as I do, these are not covered by his resource allowance, so perhaps a little back-channel homework would be worth your while to see what genre he prefers, and which books he already owns.
All pastors love to eat, but your food gift can inadvertently become an unintended burden. Here are a few easy ways to avoid food-guilting your pastor if you do decide to give food:
- Don’t give food in a container he has to return. Men are forgetful!
- Make it available for the whole church staff to share.
- Homemade is always better, and more personal, than store-bought.
- If it needs to be refrigerated, take it to his home, or he will likely leave it in the church refrigerator.
If you want to treat your pastor by feeding him, consider a gift card with multiple restaurant options. This doubles the impact of your blessing by allowing him to share that blessing with his family.
Every pastor is unique, and I do not speak for all of them, but the fact that you read all the way to the end of this article means that you care enough to do your homework. Thank you for blessing your pastor in any way this month—or any time of the year.
“Dear friend, you are showing faithfulness by whatever you do for the brothers” (3 John 1:5).