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the letter

October is National Pastor Appreciation Month. What are you doing to let your pastor know that you appreciate him?

HE SITS ALONE IN THE DARKNESS WITH HIS HEAD IN HIS HANDS. A groan escapes his lips and reverberates in the quiet church as he pours out a desperate prayer to God. “Father, why am I here? They don’t listen. Sometimes I really wonder if anyone cares. I just don’t know how much more I can take.”

Another groan. Tears of agony stain the cheeks of the man of God. Looking up, he murmurs a quiet ultimatum. “Send me a sign, Lord. If not, I’m turning in my resignation. I just can’t take any more.”

The strange scratching causes him to turn quickly, afraid for a moment that somehow the silent cry of his heart has been overheard. Finding no one there, his tired gaze drops slowly to a plain envelope shoved under the office door.

Rising from his worn chair with a sigh, the pastor walks over to pick up the envelope, dreading the latest anonymous complaint about the temperature in the auditorium, the style of worship, or the wailing infant in the morning service.

Sliding a dull letter opener through the fold of the envelope, he pulls out a ragged sheet torn from a notebook and begins to read the scratchy handwritten note.

Dear Pastor,

I probably should have written this note to you a long time ago, but today just seemed like the right time. I’m sure you have no idea how much you’ve blessed me and my family. Thanks for not holding it against me the way I acted when you first came to our church. I didn’t like you very much. I missed Brother Bobby. When he retired, I didn’t think anybody could take his place, and I made up my mind not to like you. I’m really sorry about that. But then one day (I’m sure you probably don’t even remember this) you stopped to talk to my daughter up at the grocery store. I don’t know if you knew about her past, but she sure had been a wild one. She couldn’t believe that the new pastor talked to her just like one of his good friends. And now, just look at her. She’s in church near about every Sunday and her no-good husband Fred has even promised to start visiting too. Preacher, you may not realize it, but that’s a miracle! I’ve been praying for that girl for almost ten years, and if it wasn’t for you, I don’t know as if she would have ever come back to church. I’m not much of a letter writer, but I just had to say thank you and let you know that I pray for you every day before I fix breakfast for Harold.

Your Friend,

Miss Betty

As he reads the simple words, the weary face brightens and a smile tugs at the corners of his mouth. He looks upward and thanks God for the heavenly sign of encouragement delivered in its humble fashion. Then, rising from his chair, he grabs his Bible and hurries out the door to catch Mrs. Betty in the parking lot.

As you might guess, the pastor described above and Mrs. Betty are fictional characters, but this scene could take place in any FWB church in America. We will never know how much a well-timed note or a few words of encouragement can impact our pastor. October is National Pastor Appreciation Month. Take some time to let your pastor and his family know how much they mean to you and to your congregation. Need some suggestions for appreciating your pastor? Consider those included on this page or visit Focus on the Family’s website for a more comprehensive list:


20 ways to let your pastor know you appreciate him

Make it Personal

  1. Pray for him regularly—then make it a point to let him know you do.

  2. Attend church faithfully.

  3. Tithe and support the ministries of the church.

  4. Share with him how one of his messages helped you.

  5. Volunteer…for anything.

  6. Say thank you.

  7. Send an occasional note of email of encouragement.

  8. Arrange and pay for babysitting so he and his wife can go out together.

  9. Encourage church leaders to honor him with a church-wide effort.

  10. Give him a gift certificate to a nice restaurant for no special reason.

As a Church

  1.  Plan a card shower.

  2.  Submit a letter of appreciation (or buy an ad) to the local newspaper.

  3.  Buy him a substantial gift: new golf clubs, vacation, etc.

  4.  Buy him a full set of Randall House commentaries (visit the website at or call (800) 877-7030.

  5. Pay his way to the 2006 Deep South Master’s Men golf tournament. For more information, visit

  6.  Have the children of the church make cards for him.

  7.  Plant a tree in his honor.

  8.  Ask local businesses to honor your pastor on their signs

  9.  Renovate the pastor’s office.

  10.  Give your pastor an unexpected week off with pay.

These ideas and many others can be found at


©2005 ONE Magazine, National Association of Free Will Baptists