Commentary: 4 tips for enjoying Pastor Appreciation Month


Leaves changing. Temperature dropping. And your local Walmart has had Christmas trees out for months. In other words, it’s October, which means it’s Pastor Appreciation Month.

I’ve told pastors how to make it awkward and written on ways to bless your pastor. Articles like that flood Christian blogs in October, and they’re needed.

However, it’s easy to get so caught up in not making it awkward that we fail to enjoy the encouragement and blessings we have in the churches we serve, no matter their size (or level of apparent appreciation).

Instead of looking at the calendar all month or trying to make Pastor Appreciation Month less weird, let’s consider four ways to enjoy this month to its fullest.

1. Thank God for your church

Maybe it should go without saying or be accompanied by a “Captain Obvious” alert, but being a pastor is a high honor and prominent privilege. And the flock God called you to serve is a blessing.

Whether First Baptist Wherever honors you this month or not, thank God for the people He has entrusted to you. Grab your membership roll, start at the first name, and make your way to the end of it this month, thanking God for every member you serve.

You can even write each one a short note telling them you’re thankful for them or praying for them. After all, Paul said in Ephesians 1:16, “I never stop giving thanks for you as I remember you in my prayers” (CSB).

2. Count your blessings

A wise mentor once told me to keep every card I ever received. He encouraged me to pull them out if I ever doubted the impact I had, and it has certainly helped. But you don’t have to wait for a difficult season to count your blessings.

Pull out those cards this month and remember how deeply loved and appreciated you are. Look back at past baptism photos to see how God has used you to draw men, women, boys, and girls to Him in faith. Look at the pulpit you use each Sunday and reflect on the immense privilege you have to preach the Word.

As Paul said, “Finally brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable—if there is any moral excellence and if there is anything praiseworthy—dwell on these things,” (Philippians 4:8, CSB). Consider this Paul’s way of saying, “Count your blessings.”

3. Be a blessing

You know the old saying, “It’s better to give than to receive.” And while a lot of ink is given to encouraging members to bless their pastors this month, I encourage you to consider how you can be a blessing to others.

You put a lot of work into your sermons, but there’s a team that makes sure people hear those sermons. Bless your A/V team, for example, and acknowledge them before your message.

Romans 12:10 says, “Love one another deeply as brothers and sisters. Take the lead in honoring one another” (CSB). Take some time this month to honor others who help you in myriad ways.

4. Spoil your family

It’s no secret your family sometimes takes a backseat, and I know you try hard to keep that from happening. But this is a great month to show a ton of appreciation to your first ministry––your family.

By all means, enjoy that golf outing with the chairman of your deacons or read whatever cards or books you receive. But make no mistake, you’re able to pastor well insofar as you love your family well. Therefore, take time to bless their socks off this month.

As Peter says, “Husbands, in the same way, live with your wives in an understanding way, as with a weaker partner, showing them honor as coheirs of the grace of life, so that your prayers will not be hindered” (1 Peter 3:7, CSB).

Pastor, I don’t know if or how your church will tangibly bless you this month. But you can still enjoy this month, if you do these simple things.

What’s more, if you do these things all year, you’ll be a better pastor, husband, and father than ever before.


Matt Henslee and his wife Rebecca have four daughters. He is the Associational Mission Strategist for the Collin Baptist Association in Texas, and coauthor of Replanting Rural Churches.