Jason Bryant is Western Heritage Consultant for the Center for Ministerial Health.
Some people feel like the job of a pastor is easy. Anyone could do it, right? But leading, helping and comforting people is a challenging endeavor, and pastors try to love and minister to the needs of everyone God has given to their care. A pastor I know put it this way, “Every night I go to bed with 800 people on my mind.” People share their problems and crises with pastors, and they hurt for them and desire to see God meet their needs.
Now, throw in a global pandemic on top of that. For the past 19 months, pastors and church leaders have had to navigate church closures. They have had to make decisions about how and when to go back to in-person gatherings. Just when it seemed like we were going to put COVID-19 in the rear-view mirror, the Delta variant hit. Pastors have again been faced with trying to manage what is best for the people that God has entrusted to them.
Since October is Pastor Appreciation Month, let me encourage you to do something special for your pastor. You don’t have to break the bank to let your pastor know you care — below are some low-cost ideas.
Write a note or letter and tell them how much you appreciate their care and leadership. As a pastor who has received letters from individuals that I have pastored in the past, I cannot explain to you how uplifting and encouraging these letters were to me. They gave me renewed strength and helped me to keep loving on people, even when I was tired and did not feel up to the task.
Even something small like this, or offering to mow the lawn or rake the leaves, can be a great way to show you care. Does your pastor have kids? Offer to watch them so that he and his wife can have a date night! Or, you could invite them to do something with you and your family. Do you have a place you like to go hunting or fishing? Invite them to join you. Another idea is to invite your pastor’s family over for dinner. This may cost a little, but they are worth it.
The point is, you don’t have to spend a lot of money to make your pastor feel loved. Pastors are not perfect. They do not get it right all of the time, but pastors I know are doing their best to serve God by leading and serving the people of the local church. Let them know that you appreciate this.