When it comes to church members showing appreciation for the pastor during October’s Pastor Appreciation Month, at Christmas, or anytime, your gift ideas may be limited to Bible commentaries and the latest best seller. 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.

These are fresh ideas that you may not find anywhere else.

Pastor’s appreciation is typically celebrated on the second Sunday of October, but I know that your church staff would be thankful that their hard work is recognized at any time of the year.

Hope you can find a pastor appreciation gift idea that’s perfect for giving on pastor appreciation day at your church!

27 Gift Ideas for Your Pastor (That Go Beyond the Ordinary)

15 thoughtful gift ideas for your pastor to give during pastor appreciation month or anytime!

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 idea. 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. It’s possible that it’s been a long time since they’ve treated themselves to an evening out.

Tickets for a local show or a movie theater are a great 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!

Our family had a great time attending a large-scale Easter pageant a few years ago thanks to the generosity of a church member.

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 weekend getaway 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.

Hands down one of the greatest 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:

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:

8) Buy a gift card to a 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.

Other suggestions:

  • Pay for a magazine subscription to a periodical they enjoy
  • Buy study materials that they have been eyeing to help them prepare sermons
  • Pay for a subscription to their favorite Bible study software (Logos is what my husband uses)

Just ask them for ideas! :)

10) Gift a 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 one of their favorite coffee shops, 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!

16) Give the Perfect Gift: a Restaurant Gift Card

Pastors visit restaurants often for ministry purposes but also enjoy going out to eat with their families 😉

Ask your pastor’s spouse or a close friend where they love to eat and grab a gift certificate to one of your pastor’s favorite restaurants (or the favorite restaurant of your pastor’s spouse!) and tuck it in a card with a nice note of appreciation. 

17) Give a Congregational Gift of Season Tickets 

If your pastor’s family has a favorite sports team, consider giving a congregation-wide gift of season tickets to that sporting event. This works well if you live in a metropolitan area, otherwise, it may be hard for the pastor to get away to the games if they are always on Sundays. 

18) Present a Sunday School Photo Album

Your pastor would probably enjoy a photo book with pictures of your Sunday school classes and students. We got one when we moved to our current church and it was a fun way to get to know the young children in our congregation. They also tucked in a season pass to the zoo for our family to enjoy! That reminds me…

19) Give a Family Gift 

I love it when the church recognizes that pastor appreciation ideas can extend to family members! Giving a season pass to a children’s museum or zoo allows the entire family to spend quality time with each other without worrying about the cost. 

20) Give a Fun Gift Basket

Put together a basket of gifts for your pastor and/or pastor’s family and present it to him during a Sunday morning service in the month of October. 

Thoughtful pastor appreciation gifts include:

Be aware that pastors already receive a lot of “religious gifts” like devotionals and coffee mugs. Those are nice choices, don’t get me wrong, but it’s really fun to think up some unique gifts too!

21) Bless Your Pastor With a Love Offering

Monetary gifts are a good gift if you sense that your pastor has a need they are not mentioning. Often, ministers feel that they shouldn’t bring up their own financial needs because they don’t want the congregation to think they are ungrateful. 

Pray for an openness to see your pastor’s needs that they may not be communicating and see if God leads you to give a special gift to meet that need!

22) Ask Your Pastor if You can Help with his To-Do List

If you are a go-getter and don’t mind asking, see if your pastor has a list of things he doesn’t have much time to take care of but would like to accomplish. Then take action and get them done! 

These items may not even be ministry-related: for instance, my husband needed to shred piles of papers after going through old file cabinets in his office. A kind church member noticed the piles and offered to take them to a shredding event. 

23) Give an Anonymous Gift 

One of the best ways to encourage your pastor is through the gift of laughter and surprise! Church matters can be very serious at times so it’s important to have fun with your pastor’s family. 

Several times we’ve been blessed in this way: someone left pumpkins all over our front porch, another family “egged” us on Palm Sunday afternoon so the kids could hunt for candy-filled eggs and still another family left us cinnamon rolls on our front porch when we were isolating with illness a few years ago. We eventually figured out who it was, but my kids loved to make guesses about who the gifts were from. 

24) Pastor’s Birthday Coming Up? Throw a Fun Party!

​When my husband turned 40 (in October, no less) a couple of years ago, a friend from church organized pies, his favorite dessert, to be brought to church and for people to harmonize “Happy Birthday” during the service. What a thoughtful gift.

25) Bless a Pastor With an Extra Sunday Off

Most pastors get a certain amount of Sundays off, so try giving your pastor another one this year! This is a good idea for all: the senior pastor, associate, youth pastor, and worship pastor, because they all do a lot of hard work on the weekends. 

26) Give the Gift of Prayer

How often do you stop and pray for your pastor? One Sunday during Pastor Appreciation Month, I’d encourage your church congregation to stand up and offer prayers out loud for your pastor during a service. 

Another option is to purchase a nice blank notebook and pass it around at Bible study or to the members of church leadership, asking people to write a prayer for the pastor and family. 

This is a GREAT gift and a notebook full of prayers is a beautiful way to be an encouragement to your pastor on the hardest days of ministry.  

27) Give them Grace

The best gift you can give your pastor and really their entire family is the gift of grace. Ministry is very difficult and pastors can become emotionally drained through helping others. 

We’ve experienced our church body reflecting the love of Christ back to our family and it has been a balm during the most challenging times.

Speaking words of mercy and love over your pastor’s family is a quiet but meaningful way to show how much you appreciate all of their hard work. 

Bonus Idea!

Thanks to a blog reader for the idea pictured below. Now, I know my husband would get a good laugh over that mug!  Ha!

I hope you enjoy blessing your pastor with one of these creative pastor appreciation gifts. 

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!

New Volumes in the John MacArthur Old and New Testament Bible Studies

15 Comments on 27 Gift Ideas for Your Pastor (That Go Beyond the Ordinary)

  1. I love my pastors and want to be part of every moment of their lives….
    Just a little worried if a hotel card for a day out won’t look so familiaring ….Jesus lead me more..

  2. The best pastor I’ve ever had is leaving. She is leaving our small church to take on a judge roll. I need to find the most PERFECT gift. Thank you for the ideas I think I’m going to make jam and a card.

  3. I think #14 is the best one. Your pastor helps you just by doing what they do (at least I hope they do!) so it only makes sense to offer to help them in return. Plus I think they would appreciate that way more than just getting a gift card or something.

  4. My pastor’s birthday is next week, and I can’t find a gift for him. He mentioned a book that he saw online that he wanted. Thanks to your suggestion of gifting him an amazon gift card, he will be able to buy the book.

  5. Jenn, I worked as a Church Secretary in the past and I can tell you that these are all excellent suggestions. Thanks for the info.

  6. We usually pick a day in October and surprise our pastor that day. We switch her whole schedule, we choose the preacher, have each of the church group make their own appreciation surprise (song from the kids ministry, pantomime from the youth ministry, appreciation poem or song from the adults) then we have an outside surprise Preacher to preach the Word of God, then the leader of the Surprise Venture give a word and gives all the gifts from all the group ministries. Finally we give the part to the pastor and pray. Usually we have a surprise get together with cake and food to appreciate her even more. Try to do something different every year, she always is surprise and loves yt? He’ll.

  7. I appreciate the list, however; I feel like the majority of these are geared more towards men than women pastors, could you possibly make a list with the ladies in mind.

    • Thanks for the suggestion! My husband is my pastor so I’m just speaking from my own experience. I think most of these would be appreciated by ladies as well :) Hopefully you can use the post for inspiration to think of more ideas!

  8. Thank you! These are helpful ideas that are also practical. Our pastor is going on a sabbatical. We want to bless the family with a thoughtful gift before they go, so your suggestions are very much appreciated and will be used.

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