October is here and besides being the month of all things pumpkin spice, it is a month set aside for Pastor Appreciation. Although I work as a children’s pastor, this is not a plea for gifts or appreciation. Instead, it’s just an quick help guide for parents or teachers to help practically model, lead, and teach kids to appreciate their pastors. As we teach our children to appreciate their pastors, we are teaching them to appreciate others in general, and a thankful, appreciative heart is honoring to God who placed these people in our lives.
As we teach children to appreciate their pastors, we are teaching them to appreciate others in general. A thankful, appreciative heart is honoring to God.
Here are 10 simple and mostly free ways kids can show appreciation to their pastors this month or any month:
- Tell them. Words go along way. Simply have your children tell the pastor they are thankful for him/her and why.
- Send or give them a card. It can be purchased or hand-made, but have your children write in it and address it (if you mail it). In doing so, you are also teaching your children the life skill of how to address and mail an envelope–a lost art.
- Bake something and deliver it personally. Is your child the next Bobby Flay? Then let them have at it, with your help, of course. Make something special and go with them to deliver it to your pastor. This is especially great if you know what he/she likes. Watch out for food allergies or dietary restrictions if you can. Nothing says lovin’ like something from the oven and personal delivery makes it, well, personal–even better!
- Draw a picture. I have a file folder and a binder filled with pictures from kids in our church. It makes my heart sing when they bring me their heart-felt art.
- Write a poem. Some children are the best at putting their feelings into words. If that describes your child, encourage them to use their words to bless the pastor.
- Make up a song, or sing a favorite song and video your child singing it and then send it to your pastor. A little girl from my church once was in my office singing about me while sitting in my chair. It was the most precious thing ever. It makes me smile even today.
- Do an act of service. Could your pastor use some help raking leaves, setting up something in the church or washing his car? Brainstorm with your children some things they could do to show appreciation. (Get permission from the pastor first, though!)
- Find a super creative idea on Pinterest, but let your child do it. Honestly, Pinterest is filled with great ideas, just be sure you don’t take over for your children and rob them of the opportunity to learn to show appreciation on their own. You can do another pastor appreciation idea yourself. Pastors need lots of appreciation!
- Invite them over for dinner or dessert. Having people in your home is a lost art. It not only helps nourish someone, but it also builds community and allows us to show hospitality–a Biblical mandate. Maybe neither you nor your pastor have time for a meal, but what about a dessert night or s’mores around the fire pit? Kids need to see that pastors are people, too, and time together as families can often help make that happen.
- Pray for them. Every day. And let them know you are doing so. Encourage your children to commit to pray, every day, and pray with them. Our pastors spend a lot of time in the trenches doing battle on our behalf. Teaching our children to pray for pastors teaches them to not just hear the word of God, but to do what it says.
Once you have looked the list over together, sit down with your family and decide if one of these ideas will work for you. Maybe this list is just the catalyst for another idea or maybe you already have an idea, and this is the reminder to put it into action. (James 1:22)
Then, set a completion date and commit to doing whatever it is you chose before that date. I know late is better than never, but on time teaches our children to be responsible! One of the main reasons people fail to feel appreciated isn’t that they aren’t appreciated, it’s that we just don’t get around to telling them they are.
One of the main reasons people fail to feel appreciated isn’t that they aren’t appreciated, it’s that we don’t get around to telling them they are.
I hope you and your children find great joy in showing appreciation and blessing to the pastor(s) in your life this fall.
“And now, friends, we ask you to honor those leaders who work so hard for you, who have been given the responsibility of urging and guiding you along in your obedience. Overwhelm them with appreciation and love” I Thessalonians 5:12-13 (The Message).