By Brian Kluth
The #BlessYourPastor movement was started to provide free grant-funded materials to Christians, church boards and congregations to help them creatively show and share God’s love with their pastor and church staff. There is a great need for an outpouring of personal care and support, since most pastors and church staff faithfully serve and love their congregations while often facing real financial struggles. Research by the National Association of Evangelicals shows that many pastors are operating with limited financial resources to meet their families’ current and long-term needs. Fortunately, God is bigger than church paychecks and has many ways he can provide for his shepherds and workers through the generosity of God’s faithful people.
1 Thessalonians 5:12 calls Christians to show their deep appreciation to those who minister to them. Galatians 6:6 says people are to share all good things with the one who teaches them. So, the Bless Your Pastor movement invites church leaders and Christians to intentionally show and share God’s love for their pastors and staff members.
Here is a list of over 50 creative ideas for how you and others can Bless Your Pastor and staff.
The best way to help your pastor and staff is to faithfully and regularly pray for blessings for them. Some ideas for specific blessings include praying for: • Intimacy with God • Marital love and unity • Spiritual protection • Divine guidance • Emotional and physical well-being • Parenting skills • Genuine friendships • Financial provisions • Daily wisdom • Personal encouragement • Helpful mentors • Effective ministry • Time management • Quality study and prayer times • Helpful training, courses and books • Leadership skills
Let the pastor and staff know how God is specifically using them to bless, help and teach you to follow God. Remember their birthdays and anniversaries with a card, gift or social media post. Show appreciation for their strengths and give grace in their weaknesses.
Give their spouses the freedom to be themselves and to find their own niches at the church. Let their children “be kids,” care about them, and pray for them.
Food, Fellowship & Fun
Prepare meals or baked goods for them (ask about favorite meals or certain foods to avoid). • Give them a gift card for groceries, restaurants, gas, fast food or coffee shops. • Give them food from your garden, orchard, hunting or fishing trips. • Invite them to your home or a restaurant for a meal. • Invite them or their family members to go fishing, sailing, camping, hunting, to the gym, concerts, plays or sporting events. Offer to cover some or all of the costs. • Offer them sports, concert or event tickets. • If you have a vacation home, timeshare, recreational vehicle or camping gear, offer to let them use it. • Share frequent flyer miles that can be used for conferences, vacation, mission trips or holiday travel. • Offer them the use of your dependable vehicle, SUV or minivan for a holiday family trip or vacation.
Share your skills and time to help with any of the following items: • Babysitting • Auto maintenance and repair • Home repairs, maintenance and projects • Decorating, painting and wallpapering • Haircuts and beauty treatments • Medical, dental and chiropractic care • Lawn and garden upkeep • Legal, estate and financial services • Tutoring or lessons for children
If needed, communicate in advance if there are any out-of-pocket costs they will need to cover (e.g., parts for a car repair or materials for home repair).
Faithfully give to your church, so your pastor and church staff can be properly compensated. Beyond the church salary, the Lord may prompt certain individuals to provide personal funding to help with any of the following items: • Bless Your Pastor and Staff Appreciation Offering • Marriage conference or retreat costs • Christian camp fees • Back to school fees, clothing or supplies • Children’s school tuition or contributions to 529 College Savings Plans • Mission trips • Lessons or tutoring • Family or couple’s vacation or getaway • Pastor’s conference, seminar or training • Seminary courses or sabbatical • Student loan debt • Retirement savings • Medical expenses
Pay It Forward
Most people have heard about “paying it forward.” Do you know you can also pay it forward by passing along possessions you no longer use or need? Possible items could include appliances, furniture, musical equipment, clothing, sports equipment or electronics. Ask if the items you may have available are actually needed and wanted by your pastor or staff families. Also, be sure they are in good condition and will not need costly repairs.
Note: Please be prepared to graciously allow your pastor or staff member to decline anything that you offer. Also note that most items mentioned here are not normally tax-deductible to the giver but are to be given out of gratefulness to God for what he has given to you.
For free PDF copies of this “50 Ways” list and a grant-funded 7-minute Bless Your Pastor training video and toolkit for church boards, visit BlessYourPastor.org.
Brian Kluth is the national director of NAEfinancialhealth.org and spokesperson for the BlessYourPastor.org movement. Kluth left his career field as a nonprofit executive and took a $70,000 pay cut to become a senior pastor when he was 45 years old. He wrote this list based on the many ways God provided for him and his family through the loving and generous acts of Christians and church members beyond his limited salary.