A pastor is a chief of a Christian gathering who gives guidance and consultation to the people from the community. Their paramount responsibility is to give sermons to parishioners. They also head pious occasions like baptisms, weddings, and confirmations. Pastors take care of the efficacy of church amenities. Did you know that they have a day of their own? Here, we’ll know all about Pastor Appreciation Day.
Pastor Appreciation Day is celebrated on the second Sunday of October each year. The purpose behind celebrating this day is to acknowledge the hard work of the pastors, ministers, and priests in the USA. Let us get a better idea of Pastor Appreciation Day.
Why celebrate it
This year, in 2021, Pastor Appreciation Day falls on the 10th of October. Many churches celebrate it the month (also called Pastor Appreciation month). You should give credit to your pastor, regardless of where you stand on the extrovert scale or your idea of whether your pastor likes you or not. It may seem to you that your pastor gets enough respect and attention the year from their loyal devotees. But what is worth thinking about is that they have way too many responsibilities that they barely find time off the clock.
It has been reported that around 20,000 pastors quit their job and leave the ministry each year. It is due to the stress of the job. Therefore, your pastor deserves this day of appreciation. It is not only about being thankful to the Clergy members but truly recognizing their efforts for us and the Church. It is our responsibility to encourage them to keep up the good work. Pastors form an important part of the society that serves as the guiding star towards righteousness. Some generous quotes of appreciation from the Christian community will make them feel motivated to do more for their society. This article will help you celebrate the day and explain the origins, importance, and methods of celebrating it. Also, you will get to know about different ideas through which you can make their day a special one.
Origins of the day
The Pastor Appreciation Day was originally called ‘Clergy Appreciation Day’ which dates back to 1992. The thought of exhibiting admiration for the Clergy, Leaders, and Pastors is a biblical one. This day was made so that the churchgoers show their gratitude towards the Pastors and their devotion to the church for at least 1 day. The origins of this day are found in the Bible verse 1 Timothy 5:17. According to the verse, the elders who conduct the events of the church well are praiseworthy and deserve double glory, especially whose task is sermonizing and teaching.
The day is observed about the guidance of St Paul. He was the first one to suggest the assembly for showing special honor to the members of the Clergy. It is further observed in the Bible verse 1 Thessalonians 5:12-13 that St. Paul is asking Christian communities to recognize those who are working diligently among them. He has urged the Lord to show respect to those who care for them. And who counsels the community. He has held these spiritual governors in the highest reverence in love because of their service.
“Focus on the Family” is a Christian organization of American origin. It started encouraging the celebration of Clergy Appreciation Month in 1994. And regarded it as the national month of observance. They invited the true-hearted to manifest their admiration for the religious guides on a national level. This led to the idea of appointing a certain day to pay a national accolade to the Clergy that gave rise to the Clergy Appreciation Day.
How to celebrate
Pastor Appreciation Day can be made fun and exhilarating with some gestures of affection by you to your pastor. They need not always be grand but make your pastor feel loved and respected. You can also involve your children or other kids to teach them gratitude and make the process even more exciting. Here are some things you can do on Pastor Appreciation Day to make it memorable.
Letter of thanks– This is a simple yet touching way to appreciate your pastor. You can buy a card or make one yourself. Also, you can ask children to fill it with drawings, tokens of appreciation, and you can write a heartfelt message from your side to your pastor. You can do it collectively with the congregation and ask each of them to do something similar. Or, you can choose to do it personally for your pastor.
Buy or cook sumptuous dinner– You can make your pastor and their family’s evening enjoyable by cooking dinner for them. They will love this gesture of you trying to give them the opportunity to take an evening off. You can also consider offering desserts such as brownies, cakes, and pies if it pleases you. It will be a good idea to buy them dinner if you know your pastor’s food choices. If you do not know the exact place where your pastor resides or they live too far away, you can just offer them to buy food for the evening. You can choose food delivery services such as Uber eats and order food from their favorite restaurant.
Volunteer at the Church– This is one of the best ways to show gratitude towards your pastor and the Church. You can volunteer at various ministries and lessen their workload as much as you can. Performing general duties at the Church is a surefire way to make your pastor feel appreciated. You can also ask your pastor for specific tasks for which they need someone. Or, if your pastor needs help for upcoming sermons, arranging important documents, books, or cleaning the Church, you can lend your hand there.
Arrange for a Slide show– This is indeed an interesting and fun way to convey appreciation to your pastor by the congregation. All you have to do is collect small clips from all the members of the community thanking the pastor and make a college out of them by stitching them together. You can also make a concluding video at the end where all the congregate members collectively deliver a heartwarming message to the pastor. After making the video, present its slide show on Pastor Appreciation Day.
Convey a message through social media– You can go for this option if you cannot meet your pastor in person. You can make a public post if it is a general token of appreciation. If it is more like a personal message, you can use private messaging. There are many social media apps such as Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, etc. through which you can connect to the pastor. In case they are not much active on social media, a text, mailed letter, or e-mail will be fine.
Surprise party– You can also arrange for an appreciation party that may be small or large as per your choice. The best way to enjoy the party is to put up a table with lots of food, a decorated room, and play your pastor’s favorite music. You can also organize fun games to play. The venue can be the home of a fellow Churchgoer, someplace at the Church, or if possible, the pastor’s residence. A small party amidst the pandemic taking the necessary precautions will be liked by everyone.
Collect a Leisure fund– With the help of other Christian community members, you can plan to raise a Leisure fund. Its purpose will be to collect a good amount of money for gifting to the pastor so that he can use it for going on a vacation or buying furniture, appliances for their home. They can also use it for other recreational activities like going to the movies, golfing, having a fancy meal, etc. Ask all Church members to give what they can and gift it to the pastor once a decent amount of money has been collected.
Buy a pleasant gift– Buying your pastor a gift is one of the most traditional practices of Pastor Appreciation Day. Think of a thoughtful gift for your pastor. There are a variety of choices to pick a gift for your pastor. But do not choose a very predictable one and try adding a touch of personalization to your present. Attaching small notes to them or gifting them along with a handwritten letter is an impressive way to make them feel special.
Gift Ideas for Pastor Appreciation Day
If you choose to celebrate your Pastor Appreciation Day the traditional way, that is, offering a gift to your pastor, here is a list of some gift ideas you can go for
Gift cards– You can offer your pastor a gift card to a place they have never visited before/ want to visit or a meal package gift card. You need to put serious thought into it and recognize the best thing you can offer them through the gift card. It will be better if it is something special and encouraging to them.
A flower vase or candles – These are simple and universal gifts liked by everyone. They are easy to get too. You can give them a unique-looking vase with their favorite flowers in it. If you do not know about their choice, you can go for lilies, yellow daisies, pink/ white/ yellow roses, and sunflowers. Or you can give them scented candles that come in a variety of beautiful shapes and sizes. You can buy the ones with a candle stand as well.
Medical insurance– It is an unpredictable and very useful gift you can give to your pastor. Most of the Churches cannot afford to give medical insurance to their Clergy people all at their cost. But with the help of the congregation, you can collect a major part of the money for their medical insurance. The rest can be requested by the Church.
Personalized plaques and awards– You can honor your pastor with a personalized award or plaque engraved with a message by you to them or a photo of a fond memory. They come in a variety of materials such as wood, glass, etc. Handcrafted gifts with a personalized touch always make a special place in the heart and are cherished forever.
Welcome speech suggestions for the day
Pastor Appreciation Day is mostly celebrated in all the Churches and all the Churchgoers are invited. Therefore, the program must start with a welcome speech. Whether the Church is Pentecostal, Baptist, small, or big, a welcome speech has its importance everywhere due to three reasons
- It makes the visitors feel welcomed. Also, it helps to develop a warm, affectionate, and inquisitive environment where the first-timers can feel at home.
- If the speech is delivered correctly, it increases the sense of faith in people before they enter into worship.
- Before starting the Church’s activities, there is a bit of chaos and distraction as some people arrive timely while others keep appearing. To get everyone on the same page before beginning the Church, a welcome speech is the best way to grab people’s attention.
Now, you know the importance of the welcome speech, let us look at five elements that will help to make it perfect
Begin with a simple introduction– Start with a polite greeting to everyone and a short introduction of yourself and the Church. Keep a length of 1-2 sentences.
Set anticipations– Providing a general idea of the following events will help people set their anticipations. It increases their excitement too. Remember not to describe the programs separately as it will make the speech lengthy. Therefore, stick to a quick overview of the activities.
Provide helpful information- You should include some useful information in your speech to make everyone feel relaxed. You must point out the location of the bathroom and please ask everyone to keep their phones in silent mode. Also, tell them what particular arrangements have been made available, where the visitor connect cards are placed, etc.
Welcome visitors– You should specifically welcome the first-timers or the visitors and let them know you are glad to have their presence. This also makes a good impression on the Church members that if they bring their family to the Church, they will be warmly welcomed. You can ask the visitors to fill up the visitor connect cards and drop them in the card collecting box.
End with what’s next– This is the last part of the welcome speech where you have to transition into the next stage of the program, the commencement of Church activities. If the following activity is a prayer, ask everyone to stand together and lead a faith-filled prayer. If a sermon has to be conducted after the speech, make everyone clap their hands, and welcome the designated preacher.
There are many styles or ways of approach you can use for a speech. But for a welcome speech on Pastor Appreciation, you can use any of the styles listed below (or maybe a mix of all of them to avoid being predictable)-
Evangelistic approach– If you choose the evangelistic approach, begin by raising the level of faith and expectation of the people. Your method of welcoming the people must be warm but powerful at the same time. Set the tone by making people ready for worship. You may introduce all the pastors of the Church to the visitors. Be friendly and passionate while delivering the speech.
Comedic approach– If you have a personality that amuses people and makes them laugh, this is the best approach for you. Set expectations in funnily. Make people enjoy the process and have a memorable start to the day with a comedic approach to your speech.
Helpful approach– The helpful approach of speaking makes the guests feel welcomed and comfortable. This way you can make the Church services more embracing. While delivering your speech, you can offer your help to all the visitors saying that they can reach out to you if they need some help.
Importance of Pastor Appreciation
There are more than 51,000 people in the United States that are ceremoniously a part of the Clergy. If we think about all the duties that our ministers, pastors, and priests do, we will eventually feel the importance of celebrating this day. This is because the significance of this day lies in the importance of the Clergy in our lives. The Bible also tells the importance of the Clergy in the verse ‘Hebrews 13:17’. It suggests that people listen to their leaders. From preparing weekly messages to fostering the ethereal well-being of the churchgoers, pastors serve the church daily. Also, they take care of the financial responsibilities and maintenance of the Church.
They have an important role to play in our major life events. Aside from their daily responsibilities, Clergy members remain present in major highs and lows of the lives of people. They offer prayers for the sick, head pall-bearers during the funerals, and succor the prisoners, abandoned. Clergy people hold a significant part in some of our most joyous events too. These include Holy First Communions, marriages, requests for special blessings, and baptisms.
They also handle the disheartened, dissatisfied congregants, and their emotional pressure. Also, society is becoming increasingly anti-religious day by day. The Clergy goes through their hate and hostile criticism. Still, they do their duty of guiding those with a fractured sense of faith. They do not fear risking their lives or physical well-being and serve as missionaries in belligerent areas all around the world. These religious leaders offers utmost care to people fighting with deadly illnesses and are the front-liners of all social justice campaigns. They are always ready to lend a hand and serve the requirements of the people. Whether it be encouragement, money, love, meals they are there for the needy. But as much as they help others, they do not get it back very often.
In our daily hustle, we tend to forget the important people in our lives and their deeds for us and society. Pastor Appreciation Day came into existence so that you can realize your pastor’s duties, importance, and what they go through this one time of the year. You should use it to understand and fulfill their needs as well as encourage their family personally or as a part of the community.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What are some facts about Pastor Appreciation Day and Christianity?
Following is a list of facts about Pastor Appreciation and Christianity in general
- In 1992, to honor Clergy Appreciation Day, Hallmark Cards issued the first Clergy Appreciation cards.
- We can find mentions of Clergy in the medieval age where they are said to perform ale brewing, surgery, etc.
- Pastor Appreciation Day or Clergy Appreciation Day has one more name. It is also known as Ministry Appreciation Day.
- Every religion has a Clergy where it performs duties that vary according to the traditions of the religion.
- More than 80 million copies of the Bible get dispensed throughout the world every year.
What are some things that we should not do on Pastor Appreciation Day?
Along with knowing what should be done, it is equally important to know what you shouldn’t do. If you will select a gift for your pastor, avoid giving any leadership books as it may indicate that he lacks somewhere in his ministry or leadership. Also, avoid a Bible or “praying hands” set as a gift as they probably have one already. Do not bring problems to his attention before his preaching. Even if you are a shy person, do not refuse to sing during worship. Also, never give a card that has nothing in it. Your pastor certainly deserves more. Make sure that you do not wear a strong or heavy perfume to the Church. These are some small things you should take care of not only during Pastor Appreciation Day but throughout the year.
This was your complete guide for the Pastor Appreciation Day. Ensure that you make this one day for your pastor a really special one and let them feel the significance of their position. But remember to maintain the sense of importance you show to your pastor every single day.