A 2019 article title North America Tackles Aging Pastor Population Head On* states that over the next seven to 10 years 2,500 of the division’s 4,300 pastors will be eligible for retirement. This means a shortage is on the way. Maybe you have felt it already in your local congregation?

We need to do what we can to address the coming shortage of pastors within our denomination. Young people who sense God’s call to ministry need to be encouraged to see value in serving. Another thing we can do is show pastors our appreciation so they also feel encouraged and valued.

October is Pastor Appreciation Month. Pastor Craig Carr, ministerial director for the Mid-America Union Conference, shares 20 ways one can show appreciation for their pastor.

  1. Write a ‘good ol’ fashioned’ thank you note.
  2. Share a specific example of how their ministry made an impact on you.
  3. Take them out to lunch and uplifting conversation.
  4. Gather funds to send the pastor & family on a long-weekend getaway.
  5. Offer childcare to allow for a date night.
  6. Have children create cards and notes of appreciation.
  7. Bake them cookies, allow kids to decorate them.
  8. Stop by their office during the week.
  9. Volunteer to serve on the Nominating Committee (just kidding)
  10. Give them a gift card to their favorite restaurant.
  11. Give them a photo book filled with church family memories.
  12. Do something personal and special for the pastor’s family.
  13. Take your pastor fishing, golfing, sailing, etc. not to talk about church, but to play!
  14. Make a personal commitment to speak positively of your pastor.
  15. Commit to praying for your pastor daily.
  16. Set aside some time during a worship service to publicly honor the pastor and family.
  17. Increase the local church budget for the pastor’s continuing education.
  18. Ask, “How can we best show you that we appreciate you?”
  19. Write a note and mention a specific sermon that encouraged you.
  20. Be diligent but sensitive in offering care to your pastor’s spouse and family.


* Mylon Medley, “At Chosen Camporee, Inaugural “NextGen” Event Affirms Pathfinders Answering the Call to Ministry,” NAD Ministerial Association, August 22, 2019, nadadventist.org/news/chosen-camporee-inaugural-nextgen-event-affirms-pathfinders-answering-call-ministry