30 Ways to say “Thank You”


October is over. Last Sunday is done. Don’t let that stop us! Let’s keep actively appreciating our pastors! While they are good and we should participate in offerings and gifts in October, we need to cultivate a spirit and culture of Pastor Appreciation. Here are 30 ideas on how to keep honoring our pastors for the month of November – and beyond.

  1. Think appreciative thoughts about your Pastor and the pastoral staff. Lots of them. Regularly. On purpose.
  2. Pray that your Pastor will be radically more interested in pleasing God than in pleasing you or anyone else.
  3. Purpose to speak to at least one other person in your church every day about your appreciation for your Pastor.
  4. Purpose to stop critical thoughts about your Pastor as soon as you realize you are going down that path. Replace those thoughts immediately with thankful thoughts about something your Pastor does well.
  5. Purpose to never have another critical conversation about your Pastor. Pray about any concerns you may have. If you sense from the Holy Spirit to do more, do so appropriately, quietly, and with honor.
  6. Send your Pastor an email referencing something good happening at the church.
  7. Send your Pastor an email about something good someone said about him/her.
  8. Send your Pastor an email referencing something from the message that the Lord used to speak into your life.
  9. Send your Pastor an email saying that you appreciate his prayers for you and others in the church.
    Send your Pastor a “thank you” card. In the mail – the real mail for a real card.
  10. Make sure you never criticize or complain about your Pastor or your church to people you work with, your friends, or your family.
  11. Be good to your Pastor’s spouse, in every way that you can.
  12. Make a list of 5 little things you can do to make your Pastor’s day. Then randomly pick one every week or so and do it anonymously. Don’t tell the Pastor who did it. Don’t tell anyone else unless you need their help to pull it off.
  13. Make a list of a few bigger things you can do to make your Pastor’s life easier or better. Maybe you can make a meal for the Pastor’s family, or clean up the leaves in your Pastor’s yard. Offer to watch the Pastor’s kids for an evening to make a date night possible. Just think of some nice things that are doable and would bring a smile.
  14. Ask your Pastor if there is any task you, you and your family, or you and a buddy could do one day to help around the church. You may be surprised how that would lift your Pastor’s spirit!
  15. Be friendly to newbies. Don’t leave it to the pastors to make people feel welcome at the church. When you talk to them, tell them why you love your church and how you appreciate the Pastor and the staff. Let them know they are welcome, and you believe they will love it, too.
  16. Ask your Pastor to tell you three things that he/she would like people to know about your church currently and where it is heading. Be intentional in conveying those things to people whenever you talk about your church.
  17. Figure out where you can serve in your church. If you already serve, get excited about what you do – no matter what it is. Rock those babies – and pray for them. Help set up for that event – and pray over it and those who will attend. Serve like it matters. Now. In eternity. Because it does.
  18. Participate. Don’t just show up. Smile. Interact. Pray during prayer. Worship during worship. Be taught and learn during teaching. Receive when the Pastor brings the message.
  19. Set your sights on a different staffer every week and find a way to let them know that what they do matters and isn’t escaping notice. Every leader’s job is easier when the team that serves with them is encouraged.
  20. Don’t just quit saying critical things yourself about the Pastor or staff or church – commit to not being a listener to criticism. It’s awkward. It feels strange. It isn’t easy…but, let people know when they start to complain to you that you want to be careful about the conversations you have. Let them know who they should take their concern to if it is appropriate.
  21. Have a lot of grace for the Pastor’s family. It isn’t easy to be the Pastor’s kid. Everyone seems to have an opinion about how they act, what they say, how they dress…pretty much everything. If you see a problem, pray for the family member, for the Pastor to have wisdom, and don’t talk to anyone but Jesus (or the Pastor if necessary) about it.
  22. Be on time. In fact, be a little early. Whether you attend a church of under one hundred, hundreds, thousands or tens of thousands, it is easier on everyone (including you) when people aren’t either rushing or distracting because they are late.
  23. Arrive in peace. Purpose NOT to allow strife in your home or car or the parking lot. Strife changes the atmosphere. Not just for you and your family. For everyone around you.
  24. Do the quick and easy things that make your church a better place to be for everyone. See some trash that missed the can? Pick it up and put it in. Is there a stall almost out of paper? Replace it or find someone who can. See someone who seems lost? Help them find where they need to be. Think it isn’t your job? It is. It’s everyone’s job.
  25. Make church and church activities a priority for your family.
  26. Don’t just “choose joy,” choose to be happy. Choose to like your church and be one of the reasons other people like it, too.
  27. Even if you don’t have a child in the nursery or the children’s department, take a walk by those departments and let the people working in that area know you appreciate what they do. It can be difficult and invisible to serve in those areas. Express your gratitude for those willing to do it.
  28. Be easy to get along with. Every church has folks that aren’t. Don’t be one of them.
  29. Remember that treating everyone well and doing what you can when you can serve your church and serves your Pastor. That’s active appreciation.

Debby Berry is on a mission to be an encourager, walk in the grace she has received, and impart that same grace to everyone she encounters.