It’s that time of year. If you’ve grown up in the church, or have been on staff in a church for a long time, you know that every October Christian bookstores stock extra pastor appreciation cards and gifts for your senior pastor. Church staff members are taking to social media to thank and appreciate their senior pastor publicly for their hard work and sacrificial love. Cards, gifts, and Tweets are all excellent ways to acknowledge your pastor this month. That said, I don’t think we should stop there, and here are a few other ways to show your senior leader just how much you love and appreciate who they are and what they do:
1. Pray for your pastor(s).
As staff members and pastors, we pray a lot. We open and close our meetings in prayer, we pray with people who are sick or in need of hope, we pray for ourselves and our families often, but we don’t pray for our pastor enough. Praying for our senior pastor, his family, and the vision God has given is the greatest way we can appreciate him. I’ve also learned that the more I pray for my pastor, the more connected I feel to his vision.
Praying for our senior pastor(s) helps us as much as it helps them.
2. Protect your pastor’s family time.
Do you know when your pastor’s day off is? You should. Save that email or text message for the following day, or better yet, add it to your notes for your next meeting. There’s a culture in ministry right now of everyone protecting their day off at all costs; this is healthy, but we should be as determined to protect other team members days off too.
Show your pastor appreciation by honoring his day off and better preparing for your one-on-one meetings.
3. Grow yourself spiritually and guard your soul.
Being a part of church staff is an incredible privilege, and as with any privilege, there is a great responsibility. As a staff leader or pastor, we feel deeply responsible for the spiritual health of those we lead, but we are chiefly responsible for our personal growth and soul health first. Maintaining personal holiness and intentionally setting up guardrails is essential for longevity in ministry.
If we want to appreciate our pastor, we must keep growing as followers of Christ and guard the integrity of our soul.
4. Care and pastor the people they have entrusted to you.
No pastor wants to hear that the people in the church are not being cared for or followed up with promptly. Each staff member is an extension of the senior pastor’s love, especially when it comes to shepherding the flock under our care. Being responsive to people’s needs and genuinely concerned about their spiritual condition is for every leader, not just the senior leader.
The easiest way we can appreciate our pastor is by doing our job with passion and excellence.
Our pastors and senior leaders deserve all the love and respect we can give them, every day, not just in the month of October. Let’s show them how much we appreciate them by praying for them daily, protecting their time, growing ourselves spiritually, and by caring for those entrusted to our care.