by Matt Rosine, Director of Employer Services
Pension Fund of the Christian Church
Somewhere in history, some group decided October is Minister's Appreciation Month. It's also Hispanic Heritage Month and Breast Cancer Awareness Month, so I can see how it may get overlooked. But if you know a minister, I bet she or he could use a word of thanks, so read on:
Your minister doesn't have to just be your pastor, but also your squash partner, the bassist in your cover band, the retired fellow you see reading every Tuesday at Starbucks or the person who works at the church down the road. Whoever it is, it helps to say thanks. Here are 10 practical things you can do to say thanks to a minister:
- Leave an anonymous note (a kind one!) under the windshield wiper of their car. Minister's love anonymous Thank You notes - they'll probably even refer to it in their sermon the next week!
- Give them a $5 gift card for iTunes or Amazon.com. Music and books are stress relievers for a lot of ministers.
- Drop off a plant or a bouquet of flowers for the minister's office.
- Make a casserole or pie (or pick up a bucket of chicken) and drop it off at his/her house after work. (Just drop it off - don't go in. Their house is just as messy as yours! They'll be grateful for the gesture.)
- Plant a tree in the church yard as a symbol of the congregation's gratitude.
- If you attend a church, take a handful of blank "thank you" notes to church with you this Sunday. Then hand them out to other worshipers before the service starts. Tell them it's "Minister's Appreciation Month" and invite them to write a brief note to the pastor and drop it in the offering plate.
- Get the youth group together and play a (loving) prank on the pastor. A few years ago, my office was foiled by the youth group and I smiled about it for a month!
- If you're a musical person, recruit some choir members or other singers and dedicate a worship song to your minister.
- Take a video camera with you to a nursing home and invite homebound members to record their words of gratitude for the pastor. (You'll probably want to call ahead and let them know what you're planning to do!) You can then show the video during a luncheon or just slide it under the preacher's door for them to watch.
- Perform a non-random act of kindness for your minister. Take a hose to the church parking lot and wash her car while she's in the office. Or stop by his house and rake leaves or mow the yard while he's at work.
- (BONUS) - just say thanks. Take a moment to tell the minister one way that he or she has been helpful to you in the last year - no matter how small it is. Just say it - your minister needs to hear it!