Pastors and spiritual leaders all over the world give so much throughout the year to the congregations they serve. Pastoral Care Week is October 25-31, 2015. This Simple Acts of Caring list provides ten ways to show your spiritual leader how much they are valued.
1. No two people agree on everything. The same is true of you and your pastor. You won’t agree on everything. When you don’t agree, one of the things that will make your pastor feel respected and appreciated is for you to let him or her know respectfully, and in private, to give your pastor a chance to respond and explain as well as hear your side.
2. Though many of us are our own worst critics, the truth is all of us have unique talents, like financial or music skills, and something to give. For clergy and pastors, a congregant’s time and attention is often the greatest gift of all.
3. Pastors are no different than the rest of us, with busy schedules to keep. From restaurant gift cards, to making them a meal or having them join you for dinner, there’s not a pastor on the planet who will refuse food.
4. With lots of activities going on throughout the week, many women clergy are forced to bring their children along. This is a great opportunity for church members to help babysit while your pastor is involved with leading worship or various committees.
5. We don’t always take the time to say thank you for a job well done or for simple things like the welcome many of us receive from clergy when we walk through the door. Pastors appreciate thank you cards. Taking the time to write a thank you to express your appreciation for all that your pastor has done for you, your family and the congregation goes a long way.
6. Personal gifts touch clergy the most. You can imagine all the rosary beads, Bibles, yamakas, menorahs, and other religious gifts clergy have received over the years. That’s why finding a gift that’s truly him or her will be treasured for years to come. Consider gifts that speak to their hobbies or any interests they have outside of church.
7. While churches and many of us are financially burdened and unable to reward our pastors the way we’d like, with a little creativity there are all sorts of ways to show appreciation. When our church learned our pastor’s mother was having surgery in England, two of our members donated their air miles so our pastor could be there with her in recovery.
8. If your pastor is moving on to a new church or parish, sending him or her off with a scrapbook of photographs and memories is a great way to express your gratitude. Pictures of services, families, fellowship and community projects are always appreciated.
9. Who doesn’t like cash? Even if all you can gift is a $20 bill, that’s enough money for a casual lunch somewhere and will also help your pastor to feel appreciated.
10. Prayer. Our church leaders pray for us, our families and the congregation but they too need our prayers. Prayer is one of the best ways you can care for your pastor.