Spotlight: When And How To Celebrate Pastor Appreciation Day

Pastors often play a central role in communities. These individuals can also guide you in your spiritual and religious journey. Did you know that there was a special day to honor your pastor and thank them for all their hard work?

When Is Pastor Appreciation Day?

Pastor appreciation day always falls on the second Sunday of October. This holiday will be celebrated on October 14th, in 2018 and on October 13th, in 2019. It is celebrated on a Sunday so it can coincide with Sunday service.

Even though this holiday is called pastor day, it is often extended to encompass other members of the clergy as well. This is the perfect opportunity to thank the priests, reverends, and other members of the clergy who play an important role in your life.

This holiday comes from another tradition. Clergy appreciation month was started in the 1990s but was eventually turned into a much shorter holiday.

How Is Pastor Appreciation Day Celebrated?

There are different ways to celebrate this holiday. The best way to celebrate pastor appreciation day depends on the kind of relationship you have with your pastor.

If you are an active member of a church and have known your pastor for years, giving them a small gift is a great way to celebrate this holiday.

If you don’t know your local pastor that well, you can celebrate by thanking them for what they do or by simply attending a religious service.

Pastors do a lot for churchgoers. You might think that a pastor’s role is limited to the Sunday sermon, but pastors are available to churchgoers at all times. They help families deal with crisis situations and are always available to provide guidance and kind words.

This holiday is the perfect opportunity to show your pastor how much you appreciate everything they do. If your pastor has helped you and your family get through a tough situation, consider doing something special for your pastor as a way of saying thank you.

You can celebrate this holiday even if you attend church occasionally or don’t know your pastor that well. It will mean a lot to them to see that their hard work is recognized and appreciated.

Some churches organize events for pastor appreciation day. Some members of your church might organize an event to thank a pastor they have known for many years, or your community might come together to support a cause your pastor cares about.

It is not up to the pastor or church staff members to organize something for this holiday. Churchgoers might organize something to thank their pastor. This is more likely to happen if church members have attended the same church for a long time.

Don’t worry if your church isn’t organizing anything for this holiday. You can still honor your pastor by saying a few words to them after the service!

pastor appreciation day

Pastor Appreciation Day Ideas

There are plenty of ways to celebrate pastor day. Here are a few ideas.

Organize A Local Event

If your church doesn’t have any events planned, don’t hesitate to organize something. You could organize a small cookout after the service, or plan a larger event such as a fundraiser for a local cause. This isn’t something you should plan at the last minute.

Get some help from other churchgoers and decide if you want to invite everyone who attends your church or limit attendance to a few families that have been members of your church for a long time.

Any kind of gathering with church members and your pastor would be a fun way to celebrate this holiday. You can plan something that will be a surprise to your pastor, or plan a larger event to reach out to your entire community.

Surprise Your Pastor

If you know your pastor well, think about throwing them a surprise party. This is something you could organize with the other members of the church.

Thank Other Staff Members

There is a holiday to honor pastors, but other church staff members don’t have a special day dedicated to them. National pastor day is the perfect opportunity to thank the other staff members and volunteers for what they do.

You can write a thank you note to each staff member or do something nice for the office such as get a bowl of candy everyone can share. Staff members will also appreciate practical gifts such as new office supplies or furniture you can donate.

Attend Church

This might seem like an obvious way to celebrate this special day. Seeing you in church will mean a lot to your pastor.

Convince some friends or family members to come to the service with you. You could also organize a carpool service so that more people can attend the Sunday service. Make an effort to attend church more often in the future.

celebrating pastor appreciation day

Say Thank You

You can approach your pastor after the service and thank them for everything they do. This will mean a lot to them. You don’t need to explain that you want to do this for national pastor day.

You can be specific and talk about a time in your life where your pastor’s words and guidance made a difference. You can also reference something they said during today’s sermon that you particularly liked.

Give Your Pastor A Handwritten Note

You can give your pastor a handwritten note or card to thank them. Writing a note means you can take all the time you need to find the right words.

Your handwritten note will be particularly appreciated if you write about something your pastor did that had a positive impact on your life.


You can thank your pastor with a small and thoughtful gift. Your pastor will probably appreciate some reading material. Some home-baked goods would also be a great way to thank your pastor.

If you aren’t sure what to get for your pastor, find something that will be useful for their office. A potted plant will be a nice addition to their office.

If you know your pastor well, you probably know what their favorite food or candy is. A small basket filled with their favorite candy would be a great way to say thank you.

Gifts To Avoid

Purchasing religious items such as a Bible, cross, or set of praying hands might come to mind when shopping for a gift for your pastor. Keep in mind that these are items your pastor already owns.

A gift that is too big or too expensive might not be appropriate. A small gift is a nice way to show that you remembered this holiday and wanted to do something for your pastor.

Arts And Crafts

You can make something with your hands to honor your pastor. Get your children involved if you go to church as a family. Any kind of arts and crafts project will make for a thoughtful gift for your pastor.

Take An Ad In A Local Newspaper

Taking a full page ad in your local newspaper is more affordable than you think. You can use this page to thank your pastor for their dedication.

Ask members of your church to write short messages for your pastor and publish them on this page.

pastor appreciation day celebration

Get Everyone To Say Thank You

Seeing how much their community appreciates them will mean the world to your pastor. There are different things you can do to get everyone to say thank you:

  • Have church members sign a giant card.
  • Film a video with messages from church members.
  • Have everyone chip in to buy a large gift.
  • Have church members sing a song together at the end of the service.

Do Something For Your Church

You can show appreciation for your pastor by doing something for your church. Find out what your church needs.

Your pastor might need some office supplies or your church might need some volunteers for an upcoming event. You could also help by donating old furniture or appliances to your church.

If you are not sure how you can help out, ask your pastor. They probably have a list of things that are needed or some projects they have been meaning to work on. Offer to come in and help out with a project if you don’t have any of the items your church needs.

Do Something For Your Pastor’s Family

You can celebrate pastor appreciation day by doing something for your pastor’s family. You could drop by with a casserole or some baked goods or get some gifts for your pastor’s children.

Try to think of a way to help your pastor’s family. If you are good with your hands, offer to help out with one of their home improvement projects. You could also offer to babysit for them.

Appreciate Your Pastor's Contributions

Don’t forget to celebrate National Pastor Day in October! Take some time to think about what your pastor would appreciate and how you can show them what a difference they make in your life.