October is Pastor Appreciation Month; it is a time to thank your pastor and his family for all they do for your church. Do you ever think of all that they do for you and your church family? When did your pastor arrive to your church and community – 6 weeks, 6 months, 1 year or 10 years? Have you ever sat down with your pastor and just visited with them as a person, a friend and not just a pastor? Make a point of being friendly and introducing yourself to both the pastor and the pastor’s wife. Also even if you might have introduced yourself once please do it again it’s not that they don’t want to remember you it’s just that there are SO many people to remember (especially in the beginning of being at a church) so don’t take offense of they don’t remember your name. They probably remember your face but just not your name – which frustrates them because they want to remember everyone’s name.
Do you know if your pastor has people to talk to about his life and has people to play games, spend time with where they just have downtime and don’t have to think about helping the other person with what’s going on in their life?
Does your pastor live close to family? Do they live far away from family? Where do they go for holidays? Did you know that for the most part the pastoral call sends pastor far away from their families and they usually aren’t able to get too many of their family holiday events due to church commitments.
Be mindful of your pastor’s family – think before you call them. Is this an emergency or can it wait till the morning when the pastor is in the office. Remember that you cherish your family time and get bothered when people are interrupting that special time. Be mindful that when you are calling at 6 pm or later that unless it’s an emergency you are interrupting precious family time.Don’t have unreasonable expectations of the pastor’s family – they are not the perfect Christian family. Kids will be kids and if they get into trouble it’s not a reflection of the pastor. You also need to remember that kids make mistakes and that goes the same even if you are a pastor’s kid. Don’t expect them to be at every single church event….sometimes they need some downtown and not feel like they are on display and have the expectation of being perfect.
Also is your pastor’s wife being nurtured? Does she have friends that she can talk to about life? Is she getting out of the house and doing things that are enjoyable to her. Does she feel included at church events with the other ladies or do you just notice that she is off to the side and not interacting. Be mindful of being to cliquish. It can happen especially in a small community where everyone know each other and it’s hard to break in and become friends. Also remember that just because she is the pastor’s wife doesn’t mean that she isn’t struggling with making friends, being friendly and getting to know other people. If you are struggling with getting to know people remember that she probably is struggling also. She is just putting herself out there and trying to be friendly.
Please remember to pray for your pastor’s family! Pray for your pastor – pray for the ministries that he’s involved in, pray for his family, and also pray that he is not overworked and overwhelmed. Please don’t criticize him if things aren’t getting done quickly enough – stop and think how can I help and volunteer. Pray for the pastor’s family – pray for the kids that they would grow spiritual and physically. Pray that they would have friends that would love them and care for them. Pray that they would not feel neglected because of the responsibilities of the church. Pray for the pastor and his wife’s relationship – do they do a regular date night? Do they have money and someone to watch the kids so that they can do a date night? Are you nurturing their relationship by not talking bad about the pastor or pastor’s wife? Are you praying for their relationship? Pray for the pastor’s wife…sometimes being a pastor’s wife can be a lonely position because they are put on a pedestal. Remember to pray for the pastor’s wife as she goes through out her day – in work, in raising her kids or the involvement in the church. Remember how it feels to be the new person in town and invite her to different events. Make her feel comfortable. Sometimes we as women can be unknowingly cruel by just not giving a simple invitation.
If you have a problem with the pastor or his wife or family….please talk to the pastor or to his wife. Share what is on your heart….maybe it’s a concern about raising kids, maybe it’s a concern about life and their relationship. Talk to them and don’t gossip behind their back. They will take it a lot better if you talk to them directly and there will be less hurt feelings in the long run.Please remember to thank your pastor for his dedication and involvement in the church. Find a way to share your appreciation with them. Thank you’s go a long way, handwritten cards, even time spent together chatting or playing games go a long way.
Here are ways that you can say thank you to your pastor and his family:
- Commit to praying for them and ask them if they have prayer requests that you can pray for.
- Give them a card and say thank you for all that they do.
- Invite them over for a meal and for a game night.
- Give them a gift card for a meal out or to the grocery store.
- Take them out to eat…find out what their favorite restaurant and take them there.
- Give them fruits, veggies or meat.
- If you are gifted in a way – you can make baked goods, blankets, cards, take amazing pictures – offer your services to them. Christmas is coming up and sometimes family pictures don’t get done unless someone volunteers, etc. Share what you are good at!
- If they have young kids or elementary-age kids offer to babysit and spend time getting to know them.
o Find out what the kids like to do.
o Find out their favorite foods.
o Find out their favorite activities.
- Spend time with your pastor family with no expectations from them
o Ask them how they are doing?
o Ask if there is something that needs help with at the church and then volunteer.
o Find out how to nurture the pastor’s family so that they feel comfortable at your church because when they feel comfortable and loved and cared for they are more likely to stay longer.