Many pastors relate well to children as well as adults. Whether or not your pastor is a favorite of the Sunday school children, pastors should hold a place of respect in the minds of the children who attend church. Working with the children on specific ways they can show appreciation to their pastor fosters both respect and a sense of belonging to the church community.
Write Pastor Thank You's
Help children create one-of-a-kind cards and write messages of appreciation. A sheet of card stock makes two cards. Cut in half and fold. Text on the front might read, "Thank You, Pastor (name)." Assist the children in writing a note of thanks. Ask them why they appreciate the pastor and list their answers on the board. Decorate the cards with crayons, glitter, markers or stickers. Write messages on paper that the children decorate. Roll them like scrolls and tie them with ribbons. If a pastor appreciation celebration is planned, place the messages in a basket and have a delegation of children present the basket.
All Year Long Appreciation
Pastors are on call 24/7. Often their hours of service are under-appreciated. Plan children's activities that focus on showing appreciation for the pastor all year long. Sunday school teachers can rotate responsibility for having a class activity each month that shows the pastor how much the students appreciate him. Children can write poems, learn a song to sing in church, or put messages of encouragement in balloons and present a balloon bouquet. Plan these activities once a month or once a quarter.
Plan a Meal
Have the children plan a special dinner for the pastor and his family. The dinner be served at the church and planned by the children with the assistance of teachers and parents. Divide the children into groups to handle different areas of the meal. You could divide them by Sunday school class, with older children handling more difficult parts of the planning, preparation and execution of the meal. Different groups would be responsible for creating the invitation and for planning the menu. Those who like to cook, or have parents who do, can divide the cooking chores. Have decorating and serving committees. Make sure enough adults help, to provide supervision and to work in the kitchen after dinner starts so the children can sit with the pastor. Keep the menu simple and inexpensive.
Present a Craft
Have the children make a craft to give the pastor to show their appreciation. Cut out a large circle from cardboard. Spray-paint it white. Add the text, "Thank you Pastor (name)." Have the children bring pictures of themselves. Have them glue the pictures to a circle 2 inches larger than their picture and decorate around the edges. Use ribbon or yarn to attach the pictures to the larger circle. Add a picture of the pastor to the poster board. Let the children write notes of appreciation, draw pictures and decorate the poster board for a personalized pastor appreciation craft.
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Carolyn Scheidies has been writing professionally since 1994. She writes a column for the “Kearney Hub” and her latest book is “From the Ashes.” She holds a Bachelor of Science in journalism from the University of Nebraska at Kearney, where she has also lectured in the media department.
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