A good pastor is a treasure to the church -- and one way to express that is by celebrating Pastor Appreciation Day. While Clergy Appreciation Day is the second Sunday in October, according to Hallmark, you can tie pastor appreciation to many significant days, including your pastor’s anniversary Sunday, his birthday or your church’s homecoming week. Even kids can take part in appreciating the pastor through banner crafts.
Your pastor’s hands are an important ministry tool that he uses to pray with concerned congregants, as well as to baptize, open the Bible, share the Word and offer help during a crisis. Children of any age can help create a banner based on hands. Have the kids press their hands in various colors of paint and transfer their handprints to a long strip of butcher paper to represent the many ways your pastor’s hands touch others with God’s love. A picture of your pastor can adorn the center of the banner or a simple, “Thank you, Pastor. We love you.” Alternatively, the kids can cut out hand shapes and link them into a chain with a message of appreciation in the center of the chain.
Your pastor is a representative of God’s love to those in the church. The kids can construct a banner with God’s love as the theme. To do this, they can cut numerous hearts from construction paper or craft foam and glue them to the banner. Or, they glue pictures of themselves to the banner and then add many little heart-shaped stickers to it. For another option, have each child glue a picture of himself in the center of a heart doily -- and then connect the hearts together in a long banner. Alternatively, they can create a pictorial representation of “Jesus Loves the Little Children” by gluing paper dolls of many different colors on the banner and including a picture of Jesus welcoming the children with your pastor’s face on the Jesus figure.
When a pastor is at your church for more than a year, there are often victories to celebrate, such as making decisions for Christ, meeting financial goals, successful mission trips or new building construction. Ask church members to provide copies of photos from any of these kinds of events and let the kids glue them on a banner with words of congratulations. Members of the church can join the kids in signing the banner before hanging it. If you have more than one pastor at your church, be sure to include pictures of all the pastors and their victories on the banner.
You never know what stays with kids when the pastor delivers a message. Provide small cards or folded index cards and encourage the kids to write messages of appreciation to the pastor on them. A child might write a simple message about a sermon the pastor delivered that was especially meaningful for her, or a mention a special memory in which the pastor played a part such as a church picnic. Each child should decorate the front of her card. You can then string yarn or twine across the halls and hang the cards on the yarn. Alternatively, the kids could write personal messages on a butcher paper banner and hang it in a common area where the pastor can see it.