October is Pastor Appreciation Month. Depending on how well you know your pastor, you may think he has a fairly easy job. (I know that there are lots of female pastors out there. I have a dear female friend who is a pastor. But, for the sake of ease, I’m using the male pronoun today.)
I spent seven years as a church secretary. Let me tell you, good pastors do not have an easy job. I’m sure there are pastors out there who pretty much just show up at meetings and preach at the Sunday service. That’s not the life of most pastors. Most pastors work closer to a 60-hour week once you figure in visits to people both at home and at hospitals, meetings, counseling, and prayer and preparation time.
Are you able to take a vacation and completely get away from your job? I’ve known so many pastors who have had to delay the start of a vacation, cut a vacation short, or completely cancel a vacation because something happened within the congregation. That’s something they’ve come to expect.
Most pastors do what they do because they feel a call on their lives. Still, they’re human. Yes, the “good message” comments they hear after a service are nice, but they can become the equivalent of the “have a nice day” you hear from the local cashier. It’s important for them to know that what they do makes a difference.
During Pastor Appreciation Month suggestions are made for things to give your pastor. Gift cards and such are nice, but most of the pastors I’ve talked to really appreciate a handwritten note of thanks. Be specific about what your pastor has done for you or means to you. It doesn’t have to be long, just heartfelt.
Oh, and don’t wait until next October to do it again. Be sure your pastor knows how very much he means to you.