Chances are your pastor already has plenty of Bibles, and a plate of cookies or a photo book isn't the most original birthday gift idea. Instead, honor your pastor's birthday with a gift that shows you really put some thought into it. Whether you choose to help his church, tickle his funny bone or surprise him with a celebration, your pastor is sure to feel the love on his special day.
Monetary Gifts and Donations
Show your pastor how much you appreciate his service with a monetary gift or donation to help support church improvements and new projects. Or think about what the church may need, such as new hymnbooks to replace worn-out copies or new cushions for the pews. If your church has plenty of funding, make a donation in the pastor's name to his favorite charity or have a tree planted with a memorial plaque honoring him.
Give the Gift of Time
Pastors can't do everything themselves. For his birthday, offer your time as a volunteer at the church to help with fundraising, food preparation or cleaning. Or give him a chance to recharge with a little time off. Offer to babysit your pastor's children, or give him a gift card to a nice restaurant for a night out with his wife. Take up a collection from other church-goers to fund a trip to a conference or a weekend getaway at his favorite vacation spot.
If your pastor has a sense of humor, get him a birthday gag gift that will make him smile. Gift wrap a "World's Greatest Pastor" coffee mug, tote bag or apron. Make him a custom a T-shirt that says "Trust me, I'm a pastor" or a bumper sticker that says "Jesus is coming, look busy." For more fun ideas, try a pack of Bible-themed playing cards or a piggy bank with the words "Jesus Saves" on it.
Throw a Surprise Party
Pastors spend a lot of time serving their churches and the larger communities, so plan a special birthday celebration. Invite family, friends and fellow parishioners to the church fellowship hall and throw a surprise birthday bash complete with your pastor's favorite food and music. Have guests bring gifts or donation cards, and take care of all the details such as decorations, catering and cleanup so he can enjoy his day.
Jessica Taylor has been writing professionally since 2007. She has contributed a number of articles online on topics ranging from fashion to technology to travel. She has a bachelor's degree in English literature from the University of South Florida.
Laura Beth Drilling/Demand Media