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Pastors receive appreciation throughout the year in a variety of ways from church members. However, most of these ways likely involve being approached after the service by someone who wants to share what they thought of the sermon, or maybe they receive an email or phone call later.
As young adults, there are plenty of creative ways we can thank our pastors for all they do. Here are some ideas for how you or your college group can thank your pastor.
1. Cook a meal to share together. In one of my theology classes during college, we had a semester-long discussion regarding food and its role in fellowship. We received a group assignment to cook a meal for someone as a way of blessing them, pouring into their lives and getting to know them. It was one of my favorite assignments and experiences.
Find out what some of your pastor's favorite foods are and set a date to share a meal together. Use the time to get to know your pastor (and his family) better and offer your appreciation for how he has blessed you recently. It can be something from a sermon, or maybe he made a huge impression during a recent interaction.
2. Give him a card. Have everyone in your college group sign a card, and tell them to write a short note mentioning something they appreciate about the pastor. It can be something he said in a sermon, or maybe you appreciate how he greets and interacts with visitors. Maybe you appreciate his preaching style or his willingness to help others. Present the card to him together at church, during the service or after.
If you have something more personal you want to share with your pastor, write him your own card to say thank you. Maybe he offered you some advice, and it helped you significantly. Maybe he poured into your life in some other way, or maybe his sermon a few weeks ago really spoke to where you were in your faith at that point in life. Spend some time writing and let him know how he impacted you. Mail it to him as a surprise or approach him at church and give it to him personally.
3. Film an appreciation video. This is a perfect opportunity for your college group to thank your pastor. Maybe students have stories of following a piece of your pastor's advice, or maybe something from a sermon really stood out to them and changed their perspective on something. A video is a great way to share those stories not only with your pastor, but with your church.
Try setting it up so you can show the video during the announcements segment of the service. Your pastor will receive a pleasant surprise, and the church will be blessed as well. Most likely, it will cause them to think of reasons why they appreciate him, and they'll make an effort to thank him, too!
What are some other creative ways to thank your pastor? What are some ways you or people you know have thanked your pastor in the past?
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--Depending on how well you know your pastor, and whether he has young children, free babysitting can be a great thing to offer. (My current pastor's children are the same age as I.) Many years ago my family would do overnight babysitting of three of my pastor's young children so he and his wife could have short "get-aways". Also, we would take the children to new movie releases of Veggie Tales, buy the children birthday and Christmas presents, etc. and try to make them feel special. I am still very close with his children (two of whom are now adults) and we jokingly call each other, "family" because we are though not by birth.
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