When it comes to showing appreciation for your pastor during October’s Pastor Appreciation Month, at Christmas, or anytime, your gift ideas may be limited to Bible commentaries and the latest bestseller. But there are lots of other fun and creative ideas that will bless your pastor (and their family as well)!
I’m a pastor’s wife and so these gift suggestions are based on things that my husband has either received in the past or said would be thoughtful ways to show kindness.
Hope you can find a gift idea that’s perfect for pastor appreciation month!
15 Gift Ideas for Your Pastor (That Go Beyond the Ordinary)
1) Webster’s 1828 Dictionary
If your pastor loves physical books (not the Kindle versions), a copy of Webster’s 1828 Dictionary with Definitions would be a great option. This version of the dictionary traces the roots of words in a way that ties into Biblical definitions as well as classical literature.
This copy here is hardcover and also includes Noah Webster’s biography. Webster was a Christian and so I really learned a lot about definitions of words because they are described from a Christian worldview…very different than what we find now!
This second option is a compact edition, but the font is quite small, so keep that in mind :)
My husband got this exact copy for his seminary graduation and surprisingly, it’s been one of his favorite gifts that he’s received over the years.
2) Gift card for a men’s suit store or clothing store
Most pastors dress up for Sunday mornings. If your pastor wears a robe, this won’t be necessary, but my husband wears a suit each week! He doesn’t always like to shop for himself, preferring to be frugal. So a gift card to a clothing store or men’s suit store is really helpful….even if he just needs a new tie or to replace a dress shirt.
Is your pastor a more casual dresser? Ask his wife where he buys his clothes for Sunday mornings and choose a gift card for that store!
3) Give tickets for a local event (and an offer for babysitting to boot!)
Does your pastor like going to plays or listening to the orchestra? Maybe your pastor is a movie-goer and would love to take his wife on a date night!
Tickets for a local show or a movie theater are a fun way to show appreciation. Sometimes pastors struggle to step back from work and just relax, so this is a good excuse for them to do so!
4) Give the gift of an Audible membership or Amazon Gift Card
My husband spends a lot of time in his car, so he likes to listen to books because he doesn’t always have time to read them!
An Audible gift membership gives your pastor the chance to get their choice of book to listen to on the go, whether it’s the latest bestseller or a practical theology book! There are millions of books available. Audible is run by Amazon.
Audible gift memberships can be purchased in 3, 6 or 12 month increments. They include one book per month, and they have access to the books forever, even if they cancel their subscription later on.
As another option, purchase an Amazon gift card and your pastor can redeem it for any item they need!
Grab an Audible gift membership HERE.
While you’re at it, try Audible yourself at no cost for 30 days! (You cannot gift free trials at this time).
5) Give a Hotel Gift Card
Many times if your pastor travels to visit someone in the hospital, they may need to stay overnight. Or, they may just need a getaway evening with their spouse!
We recently enjoyed a trip to the Twin Cities and stayed in a nice hotel, thanks to the gift of a friend in the congregation (and other friends who kept our kids overnight!). It was SO refreshing!
To do this in the easiest way possible, purchase a Hotels.com gift card in whatever amount you’d like, which gives your pastor the opportunity to make a reservation at any hotel across the US.
If you purchase the Hotels.com gift card through Rakuten (a legit, cash-back rebate site that rewards you for online shopping), you will benefit as well!
Directions for purchasing a Hotels.com gift card through Rakuten:
- Click HERE, to go to Rakuten, and make sure to sign up for a free Rakuten account.
- Type in “hotels.com” in the search bar.
- Click “shop now” by the Hotels.com search result and it will take you to the Hotels.com website, where you can make your purchase directly. It does not cost you any extra money to shop for items through Rakuten.
- You will get the gift certificate via email, which can be printed out and put in a card for your pastor!
- Because you shopped through Rakuten, you’ll also get cash back added to your account! Once you reach $10 in cash back, you’ll get a check in the mail (for real!).
- Later, you can shop online for anything you need yourself through Rakuten, just type your favorite store in the search bar!
6) Give food. No joke.
One of the BEST gifts we have ever received as a pastor’s family is the gift of food. Maybe you have pigs or cattle and would like to give your pastor some meat–this is NOT an insult! :) Do you bake or make jam? Your pastor and their family will definitely enjoy that too! ;)
Don’t have time to make anything? Some of our favorite snacks and treats we’ve received are:
- Brookside Dark Chocolate with Flavored Centers
- Big box of fruit snacks for our kids (no kidding!)
- Gourmet Popcorn (these we enjoyed but they do have nuts so be aware of any food allergies)
- Mini candy bars in your pastor’s favorite flavor (my husband loves Snickers and it was so hilarious when someone gave these to him one year!)
- Trader Joe’s peanut butter cups (these were given to me one year–my favorite!)
- Individual popcorn bags (great option if your pastor’s family has allergies and you can also buy them at Sam’s or Costco)
7) Buy your pastor a set of nice pens
Don’t let your pastor keep using the cheesy free pens that come in the church mail from advertisers that only fit half the name of the church–ha! Get him a nice set of pens. Here are a few that my husband likes:
- Pilot G2 Retractable Gel Pens (set of 12 pictured here)
- Luxury Rosewood Ballpoint Pen (for pastors who sign lots of letters and papers!)
- Bible Verse Embossed Writing Pen with Case
8) Buy a gift card to technology store
Whether it’s a new set of headphones or a stylus for their iPad, pastors can always use updated technology items. Don’t forget you can buy gift cards through Rakuten!
9) Offer to pay for a year’s subscription to the magazine or Bible commentary system of their choice
FaithLife is a subscription company with Christian videos, Bible study tools, courses, and books that many pastors use for research for sermons and furthering their education. It is a monthly subscription service, so you could offer to pay that fee for your pastor if it’s something they would use. See information on FaithLife here.
Another suggestion would be to pay for a magazine subscription to a periodical they enjoy. Just ask them! :)
10) Gift a 3 Month Gym Membership
This idea might sound weird (and maybe should only be done if you have a decently close relationship with your pastor and his family–ha!), but I honestly believe that the gift of a gym membership is an excellent idea! Pastors often struggle with self-care and so it really does take someone else to remind them that investing time in their health is worth it.
11) Get a coffee shop gift card or coffee subscription as a gift
Name a pastor who doesn’t drink coffee or some sort of caffeinated beverage on a daily basis. I dare you. ;)
Grab your pastor a gift card to their favorite coffee place, or better yet, if they really enjoy trying varieties of coffee (remember, pastor’s wives like me enjoy coffee too–ha!), get them a 6-12 month coffee subscription to a subscription service like Bean Box, where they’ll be sent a bag of coffee to try at whatever time interval you choose.
12) Offer to clean their office or their home
Pastors’ offices are notoriously unorganized. They just don’t have time! We have a good pastor friend who was blessed by having two members of his congregation go through his office and clean it out/organize it. Nearly 30 years of accumulation of papers, books, and other materials made him feel overwhelmed, so this was the sweetest thing they did to help him!
If your pastor’s office could use dusting/vacuuming/cleaning, offer to do this for them. You’d be surprised how much they will appreciate it!
Cleaning your pastor’s home might feel personal, but if you know your pastor’s family fairly well or if they have just had a baby, make an offer to clean their house, do dishes, etc. A friend of mine at our previous church did this for me a number of years ago when my kids were really tiny and it was one of the nicest things anyone ever did for us!
12) Offer to babysit their kids so they can go on a date
Is your pastor married with children? Offer to babysit kids so they can enjoy the night out! Let them know that you will feed the children as well, so they can just leave without guilt and have fun :)
13) Cook their family a few freezer meals.
Because pastors’ schedules can be all over the place, it’s really nice to have some easy meals ready to go. You can easily find a few freezer recipes on Pinterest and make them up for your pastor and his family!
Check first to see if they have any preferences or allergies. You have no idea how much I’ve appreciated it when someone has done this for us–it’s a very practical gift that speaks volumes!
14) Ask them if their family needs anything.
One way to show appreciation is simply to ask if your pastor’s family needs anything. You’d be surprised how they respond!
For many of us, it’s hard to ask for help. This applies whether or not you’re a pastor, but in this specific situation, your pastor isn’t likely to speak up if they are struggling through something from a practical or even spiritual perspective.
Maybe all they’ll say is “please pray for us”, but they may say “I could really use some help with the kids because my parents live far away” OR “I am having a hard time making ends meet.” You never really know how much you can help until you ask!
15) Gather people of the church together to celebrate Pastor’s Appreciation Month during a service.
Share some things you are thankful for about your pastor during the service. Have a cake reception after the service. Have the Sunday School kids put their handprints on a huge card and sign their name (our church did this a few years ago–so sweet!). Have the kids sing a song during special music time. There are SO many simple ways to show appreciation!
Thanks to a blog reader for the idea pictured below. Now, I know my husband would get a good laugh over that mug! Ha!
What are some other ideas for showing appreciation for your pastor that you have done in the past?
One More Tip: Shop Church Source online for ministry appreciation month!