The Two Greatest Gifts You Can Give Your Pastor


I am glad October has been designated as Pastor Appreciation Month. While we should appreciate our pastors year-round, it is good to have this reminder to say and do a few kind things for those who serve and lead our churches faithfully. 

My two pastors happen to be my sons, so I obviously have a vested interest in reminding church members to express appreciation to their pastors. But I have been a supporter of pastors long before Sam and Jess became pastors themselves. 

Though I don’t want to presume upon your own ideas for gifts for pastors, I do want to share two gifts that will make a significant and positive difference in your pastor’s ministry and life. 

Gift #1: Pray for Your Pastor 

This suggestion should be no surprise. There is power in prayer. Pastors need prayer. God answers prayers. 

May I suggest you take it a step further? Create a system where you are reminded to pray for your pastor daily. I use the Echo Prayer app for my daily prayer time. It is a simple reminder of how to pray and for whom to pray. Both of my pastors’ names are in my app.

Once you have established a process where you will pray for your pastors, please let them know. A simple email or handwritten note will suffice. You cannot imagine how encouraged your pastors will be to know that church members are praying for them daily. 

Gift #2: Enlist Others to Pray for Your Pastor 

In the last church where I served as a pastor, Frances Mason recruited over 100 church members to pray for me daily. I was blown away when she told me! 

Frankly, I cannot remember any greater encouragement coming from a church member. It was a demonstration of her love and respect for her pastor. I can say unequivocally that those prayers made a huge difference in my life and ministry. 

Are you in some type of group in your church: small group, Sunday school class, community group, home group, life group, etc.? Ask your group to pray for your pastor. Give them a plan or mechanism for doing so. Remember to pray for your pastor in your group whenever you meet. 

A Tool You Can Use

I recently authored a book that provides a guide for 30 days of praying for your pastor. It is my own prayer that the book, When the People Pray, will be used in thousands of churches to begin a prayer movement for pastors. 

I know that many of you readers are pastors. I am humbly asking you pastors to take it upon yourselves to get the church praying for you. I know it is difficult to ask for something when you are constantly doing for others. Frances Mason recruited over 100 church members to pray for me after I admitted in the pulpit how desperately I needed prayer. It was a humbling and vulnerable experience. But, again, it made all the difference in the world. 

Here is the book: When the People Pray.

Please, church members, pray for your pastor. 

Get others to pray for your pastor. 

It’s the two greatest gifts a pastor will receive.

Posted on October 9, 2023

With nearly 40 years of ministry experience, Thom Rainer has spent a lifetime committed to the growth and health of local churches across North America.
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  • Your two ideas go without saying. I would hope leaders of congregations who have great or even moderate regard for the work their pastor does, would move beyond your suggestions (while including them) to address in a creative manner “other” ways to affirm their work. Fine for a church whose resources can adequately or even fully meet the authentic broad-range needs of their pastor and his/her family.. but for smaller churches where financial stresses dominate the lives of pastoral families, thinking outside of the ethereal/intangible makes just good practical — and loving — sense.