October is observed as National Clergy Appreciation Month (also known as Pastor Appreciation Month), and Pastor Appreciation Day — a day set aside within the month to celebrate pastors — is October 8 this year. The month recognizes the contributions and services of pastors, priests, reverends, ministers, and all other clergymen. Devotees, on Pastor Appreciation Day, come together to express their gratitude to pastors and other staff of the church. Many congregations observe the day by taking up a special offering to bless their pastors. Others may show their gratitude through different means such as honoring their pastors with meals, gifts, and even paid vacations.
History of Pastor Appreciation Day
For a long time (since 1992, precisely), October has been observed as Clergy Appreciation Month in the U.S. The call to honor our church leaders’ contributions goes back to the time of Apostle Paul. As founder of many of the first Christian churches, Paul enjoined the congregation to give ‘double honor’ to the elders who managed the affairs of the church. He was especially concerned about honoring “those whose work is preaching and teaching.” Paul the apostle also entreated Christian communities to acknowledge those “who work hard among you, who care for you in the Lord, and who admonish you.” He believed that holding these spiritual leaders “in the highest regard in love because of their work” is crucial to Christian beliefs.
Even though clergymen had enjoyed special standing in their parishes, it wasn’t until 1992 that Focus on the Family, an American Christian organization, would begin promoting Clergy Appreciation Month as a national month of observance. In highlighting Clergy Appreciation Month, Focus on the Family urged that there be a national celebration of the clergymen, who play important roles in the functioning of the Church.
From Clergy Appreciation Month came the idea of dedicating one specific day to pay tribute to the pastors. This day came to be known as Pastor Appreciation Day. You may also know this day as Clergy Appreciation Day. As of 2019, the number of people employed as clergies in the United States stands at 458,411.
Pastor Appreciation Day timeline
Christianity emerges in Jerusalem.
The oldest known painting of Jesus is discovered in Syria, in 235 A.D.
The trial of Galileo highlights the tense relationship between religion and science.
Protestants colonize the New World.
Pastor Appreciation Day FAQs
Is there a Pastor's Wife Appreciation Day?
March of every year is celebrated as Pastor’s Wife Appreciation Month. An entire month dedicated to honoring the wives of men in ministry.
What can I say to encourage my pastor?
To encourage your pastor, you can appreciate their labor with a simple thank-you; you can share with them what you learned from their sermon; you can offer to help with house chores.
Who came up with Pastor Appreciation Month?
Jerry Frear helped start the pastor recognition observances by leading the Focus on the Family ministry that served pastors.
How To Observe Pastor Appreciation Day
Thank your pastor
Give your pastor a 'thank-you basket' on Pastor Appreciation Day. You can fill the basket with their favorite brand of coffee, snacks, fruits, and anything that might be of use to them.
Offer to volunteer
Lend your pastor a hand by volunteering at the organization where they minister, such as a hospital or nursing home. Your pastor will appreciate the effort and it is a good way for you to give back to society.
Redecorate your pastor’s office
Request contributions from your congregation to update your pastor’s office. Get them comfortable chairs, calendars, new artwork, or other furnishings.
5 Facts About Christianity That Will Blow Your Mind
It’s the largest religion in the world
Almost a third of the world’s population consider themselves Christian.
Christmas is an ancient celebration
The earliest celebration of Christmas dates to 336 A.D.
Not all Catholics believe in 'hell'
One in four Catholics does not believe in hell, despite scripture and Catholic teaching about its existence.
It’s the dominant religion in America
71% of Americans identify as Christian.
It shares roots with Judaism and Islam
They are all 'Abrahamic' religions, with all three believing in Abraham as a forefather and a prophet.
Why Pastor Appreciation Day Is Important
Pastors serve the church daily
Pastors prepare weekly messages, manage the financial obligations of the church, and nurture the spiritual well-being of their congregants. They are often at the center of our communities.
They play a vital role in our lives
Pastors are often involved in the big events of our lives, including baptisms, weddings, and funerals. They uphold our faith and guide us through important moments of our lives.
They sacrifice their comforts to care for the flock
Pastors sacrifice their comfort for the sake of doing God’s work. Pastors serve as missionaries in hostile areas worldwide, care for the disadvantaged, and lead many social movements.
Pastor Appreciation Day dates