Yuma Southern Baptist Association
Friday, October 31, 2014
Working Together To Build The Kingdom

Suggestions on how to plan a Pastor and Staff Appreciation Day

“The elders who direct the affairs of the church well are worthy of double honor, especially those whose work is preaching and teaching.” – I Timothy 5:17 NIV

Why Have a Pastor and Staff Appreciation Day?

There are several reasons why it is appropriate for a church to plan a special day to recognize and honor the godly ministers who serve faithfully the flock of God.

In the first place, it is biblical. Paul was writing to young Timothy when he admonished, “The elders who direct the affairs of the church well are worthy of double honor, especially those whose work is preaching and teaching.” I Timothy 5:17 NIV

The term “elders” in this reference, as well as other New Testament references, is interpreted by many to refer to pastors.1 “The ‘elders’ of the New Testament church were ‘pastors’ (Eph. 4:11), ‘bishops’ or ‘overseers’ (Acts 20:28), ‘leaders’ and ‘rulers’ (Heb. 13:7; I Thess. 5:12) of the flock.”2 When we think today of pastors/ministers, we are thinking of those whose functions are the same as of the bishop and elder mentioned in the New Testament.

Paul wrote these words to the church at Thessalonica, “Now we ask you, brothers, to respect those who work hard among you, who are over you in the Lord and who admonish you. Hold them in the highest regard in love because of their work” (I Thess. 5:12-13).

It is clear from scripture that the faithful and dedicated ministers of our churches are worthy of honor.

Secondly, it is always appropriate to express appreciation to those who faithfully serve the Lord and His church. It has never been more challenging to serve as a minister in a local church. Often, the hard work of the pastor and staff go unnoticed and unappreciated. Pastor and Staff Appreciation Day provides an excellent opportunity for your church to affirm her love and appreciation for those who are called by God and your church to lead them in fulfilling the Great Commission.

Suggestions for Observing Pastor and Staff Appreciation Day

1) Set a Date

  • National Clergy Appreciation Day is the second Sunday of October each year.
  • Check the church calendar, and set the date so that it does not conflict with other events.
  • Any day is better than no day.
  • Additionally, you might consider individual staff recognitions on the date of their employment.
  • Consider making this an annual event.

2) Use the personnel committee or appoint a committee to plan the event.

  • The committee should begin its planning several months in advance of the event.
  • The committee will present its recommendations to the church for approval.
  • Use all possible means to publicize and promote the event (local newspaper, church newsletter or web site, association newsletter, church bulletin, etc.)
  • Make a list of special guests to invite and send them invitations.

3) Ideas

Set a Sunday morning to honor your pastor / staff and their families.

  • Present each pastor / staff member with one or more of the following:

    -Appreciation certificate or plaque
    -Gift certificate
    -Monetary gift
    -Flowers for wives
    -Mini-vacation (i.e. - provide a weekend trip out of town)
    -Reception following the service
  • Have a special prayer time in the worship service for pastor and staff. Various church members could pray for the following pastor and staff needs: family needs, spiritual guidance, sense of fulfillment / encouragement. A member that has involvement under that staff member’s leadership could pray for each staff member’s need: a deacon / the pastor, choir member / music minister, youth / youth minister, etc.