Friday, October 08, 2010

Ten Ways to Show Your Pastor Some Love!

Ten Ways to Show Your Pastor Some Love!
By Gerrard R. Fess

October is Pastor or Clergy Appreciation Month. The following are some suggestions to help show your leadership that you care. As a fellow pastor some of these suggestions were given to me and helped encourage and show that I was valued as a member of the church body.

1. Gift cards
Cards from a local grocery store, home value places, blockbuster, i-tunes etc. can be great gifts. Be creative. I got one from one of our families just to say "Thank you" for a local Ice Cream place - and plan on taking my family.

2. Groceries
Get what their grocery list is or what they usually buy. Some churches in the South I'm told do what is called a "Pounding" and basically what a pounding is a challenge to fill the cupboards and fridge to the brim with stocks of food. Imagine saving $$$ on groceries. Very practical idea.

3. A Night Out
Free babysitting and complimentary funds for a date night.

4. Money
Sometimes you don't know what the family's bills, struggles or what they need - it might be they need more clothes for the kids but the budget is tight so some extra funds come in handy.

5. A Personal Note
It's as simple as a hand written card. Nothing says Thank You like getting the personal touch of someone saying thanks. Even an e-card would do too.

6. Leadership Development Tools
Subscription services to magazines (Leadership, Rev, Journal of Student Ministries, Group), online services and websites, podcasts. There are some online services like preachingtoday.com that have a subscription and might help with their ministry. Maybe get a wish list of magazines or online services they'd dream of subscribing to.

7. Gadgets
Help the leadership update their software, laptops, PDAs, cell phones. Maybe even have several families go in to help purchase some of this higher dollar items. This not only shows love but an investment in their ministry. Some of my students got me an i-pod (I would not owned one otherwise).

8. Books
Get a wish list of books you church leader has (note the favorite authors) or would like to buy. A good leader is a lifelong learner and always could use more reading resources and books.Consult their spouse for suggestions.

9. Extra Vacation Days
Help organize more time off or see that they can get renewed by having their own personal retreat. Perhaps there is someone in your congregation who has a vacation home to offer, or see what your local camp ministry offers or other resources. One of the best times I had was when a family just invited us to go with them to the beach for the day.

10. Seminar or Retreat
Help send them to a seminar, convention or retreat that they always wanted to go to. Conventions can be expensive. Making sure they get there, have all the funds and don't have to worry about how this affects their own personal budget or the church's - set them at ease. There are many pastor, youth leader, marriage, conventions out there.

Gerrard is a friend of HIGHER ministries, father, husband, and pastor.

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