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Gift baskets are a great way to show appreciation for your pastor. With all the work poured into the congregation week after week without a whole lot of thanks, a pastor needs encouragement just as much as anyone else. Putting thought and care into the gift basket will make a difference. If you are the one putting together the basket and need some ideas for what would make your pastor's day, here are some things for you to consider.
Thank You Notes
Most pastors spend a lot of their time keeping the church encouraged. With notes, emails, phone calls, visits and numerous other ways, your pastor is always looking for opportunities to keep everyone uplifted. That can be very taxing. It would mean so much if you were to gather as many encouragement notes as you can from everyone and put them in the basket. The cost is minimal, but the impact is long-lasting. More than likely, your pastor will hold on to those notes and reread them when encouragement is needed.
Nights out with the spouse are hard to come by when pastoring a church. Not only is it hard to find time, it's costly to go out. Babysitters, dinner, movies, or whatever the date is, cost is a factor. Why not provide a date night that is completely covered by the church? Find someone to commit to babysitting (if needed), buy a gift certificate at a nice restaurant, and somehow find out what the couple's dream date would be and make that happen for them.
Know Your Pastor
Make the gift basket as personal as possible. It could be a fun little mission to find out what your pastor likes and just what would cause a smile. Most pastors give this sort of information away from the pulpit, so if you pay attention on Sunday, you probably already know what to put in the basket. Some common ideas are gourmet coffee, favorite candy, favorite sports team stuff, books by favorite authors, mugs and gift certificates to favorite stores. If you know your pastor, you will know what to put in there. A personal touch will convey that you were thinking of your pastor specifically.
A common struggle for pastors is to make enough time for the family. They are pulled in so many different directions with so many urgent needs that they can easily start to overlook the people who are not constantly demanding their time. The family deserves the pastor's attention, and they should be kept as the top priority. It would be a wonderful gesture if the gift basket included a family day with tickets to the zoo, game, musical or whatever you think your pastor's family would enjoy.
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