Pastors are often underappreciated. Don’t believe the old joke that pastors only work one hour a week on Sundays! Keep reading to learn how to say thank you to a pastor or other ordained clergy.
Pastor appreciation day is the second Sunday in October, and all of October is Pastor Appreciation Month. However, your pastor would be grateful to know their efforts are appreciated throughout the year.
In this post, you will learn:
- How to appreciate your pastor with a thank you note message
- What to include in your thank you note to your pastor
- Many examples of pastor appreciation messages (for many topics, as pastors do so much!)
The best way to thank your pastor is with a handwritten thank-you note where you can write a personal message to express your gratitude.
Note: A thank-you note is not a replacement for the pastor’s fee for performing a wedding, funeral, or another type of service.
This post contains affiliate links. If you use a link and then make a purchase, Heidi will receive a commission.
A printable Pastor Appreciation Card can be purchased in my Etsy shop
Gift Ideas for Pastor Appreciation
Here are a few thank-you gift ideas for your pastor. You may also want to review my longer list of thank-you gift ideas (for anyone). If you decide to give a gift, I encourage you to include a thank-you note with it.
- Gift Cards. Gift cards to Starbucks, restaurants, bookstores, or other gift cards to place you know what they like. My current pastor loves Fricker’s!
- Food. Order pizza for their family or provide another meal (organizing a date in advance).
- Free Babysitting. If they have children at home, you can offer to babysit so the pastor can have a date night or time away from home.
Pastor Appreciation Message Thank You Note Template
Here is a template note for writing a thank you pastor message. Ideally, for a better note, you will thank the pastor for something specific.
Dear [Pastor’s Name]
Thank you for caring for the church. I appreciate your all of your sermons. You’ve helped me increase my understanding and love for the Word of God. You’re an excellent shepherd!
Sincerely (or another closing)
Sign your name
Template and Example Notes:
- The Thank You Note. The examples below will only include the thank you message. If you are writing a handwritten note or email, be sure to include the salutation (Dear, Hello, etc.), and the closing (Kind Regards, Sincerely, etc. For more help with the layout of a thank-you note, read through how to write a thank-you note.
- You can start the note with Dear Pastor if you do not refer to your pastor or priest by their first or last name. This would be for when you call them pastor instead of by name when you talk with them.
- Length. Aim for two to four sentences.
- Kind Words. Your note can include a compliment.
- Bible Verses. If you’d like to include a Bible verse for pastor appreciation day (or month), you can review the list found here.
- Baptism. To thank your pastor for a baptism service, please review the examples in the baptism post.
- Grammar. To make sure the grammar and spelling are perfect in your note, use a free tool like Grammarly (affiliate link).
17 Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honor, especially they who labor in the word and doctrine.1 Timothy 5:17
Short Pastor Appreciation Messages
While a longer note can be used to thank your pastor for something specific, your pastor will likely be thankful for any appreciation messages.
These simple messages could use be used as the start or part of a longer thank-you note.
- Thanks for you all you do!
- You are the best pastor ever.
- Thank you for serving the flock so well.
- We appreciate your messages every Sunday.
- I enjoy your preaching.
- Thanks for being a fabulous preacher.
- Thank you for your ongoing prayers, love, patience, and care.
- Thank you for preaching the Word of God.
- Thank you for being such a great [pastor/priest/minister].
- I love how you share the Word of God in a way that I can understand.
- We are thankful for you and your labor of love. Happy Pastor Appreciation Day!
Pastor Appreciation Day (or month) Messages
Here are some full-length messages that could be used for pastor appreciation day or during pastor appreciation month. You could also say these words to a pastor on pastor appreciation day in person (although, as this is a thank-you note site, I recommend writing a thank-you note too).
The difference between these messages and the other examples in this post is that they include pastor appreciation day or month. They could be modified for any time of the year! You may also what to read through the examples in other sections to add wording to thank your pastor for something specific.
Also, many of the examples in other sections could be used for pastor appreciation day simply by adding “Happy Pastor Appreciation Day” to them.
#1 Happy Pastor Appreciation Day! I’m very thankful that our the pastor of our church.
#2 Happy Pastor Appreciation Day. Thank you so much for everything you do for the church. We appreciate your spiritual guidance and sermons all year.
#3 As we celebrate Pastor Appreciation Month, we want to thank you for all you do for us! You’re the best pastor, and I appreciate the time and sacrifice you put in to serve the church.
#4 We want to tell you how much we love and appreciate you during Pastor Appreciation month and the entire year. We thank the Lord Jesus Christ for bringing you to our church. You are a true servant of his people.
#5 I wish you an awesome Pastor Appreciation month, and I hope you receive many thank-you cards. Thank you for your love, prays, kindness, words of encouragement, compassion, empathy, and all that you do to support the church members.
#6 As we recognize pastor appreciation month, Thank you for your service to the church throughout the year. From the bottom of our hearts, we are grateful for your Sunday messages, as we are all on a spiritual journey. You are such a blessing and have a very special gift for sharing God’s love.
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Thank You Pastor Messages
This section includes pastor appreciation messages for specific tasks that are parts of pastoral duty, such as hospital visits, counseling, a new baby, and prayers.
#1 Thank you for visiting me in the hospital after I had surgery. Your presence was a comfort. I appreciate the prayers. By the grace of God, my condition is improving. And thanks for bringing me some snacks.
#2 We are thankful for the prayers and visits with [child’s name]. The car accident was devastating. His broken bones are starting to heal, and should be able to come home soon. Thank you for being there for him and us.
#3 Your prayers and hospital visit after my knee surgery were appreciated. I was comforted by your presence. My new knees are less painful every day. I will be back at church soon. Thank you for taking time away from your own family to come and pray for me.
#4 Thank you for bringing me lunch at the hospital. Visiting with you helped me past the time and kept me distracted from the pain. The cancer treatment is working. Thank you for your prayers as well.
#5 I appreciate the time you have spent counseling me this last month. Going through this unwanted divorce has been hard for me. Your words and prayers have been helpful.
#6 You’ve been a wonderful blessing to me. I appreciate the time you have dedicated to giving me counseling. I wasn’t sure I could trust anyone with my story. Being able to share with you has helped me tremendously. Because of your support, I feel comfortable enough to join the Celebrate Recovery group. Perhaps, my story will help others in some way.
#7 I am grateful for your counseling hours once a week. Having to make an appointment felt like too much, and I was glad I could stop by for an unplanned visit. I am feeling better about my situation now, thanks to your prayers and encouragement.
#8 Thank you for coming to the hospital to see [new baby’s name]. Your prayer of blessing for [him/her] was meaningful to us. We hope [him/her] grows up to honor our Lord.
#9 Your visit to see [new baby’s name] was a pleasant surprise. And we are glad [pastor’s wife/husband name] was able to come with you. We enjoyed the visit. Thank you also for bringing us dinner! The casserole was great, and we had leftovers for the next day.
#10 We are grateful for your prayers during the delivery of [new baby’s name]. Thank you for coming to the hospital right away when alerted to the problems with the delivery. The entire family appreciated your prayers and support.
#11 Thank you for the prayers and support for my family and for other families in the church that have families serving in the military. We’ve started a group that meets twice a month to support each other. You are welcome to visit anytime.
Thank You Note To Pastor for Funeral Service Example Messages
The example messages below are to help you say thank you to the pastor for a funeral. The examples will help you with what to say when wording a thank you for a pastor, priest, or minister after a funeral.
Tip: If you do not personally know the pastor (as in they may not recognize your name), I recommend including the name of the deceased in the note, as it’s possible the pastor may have officiated other funerals recently.
#1 Thank you for talking at the funeral service for my aunt. The entire family appreciated your message, and we’re happy that it included accepting Jesus as our Savior. [Aunt’s name] was friends with many unsaved folks that came to the service. I hope your message had an impact on them.
#2 We are grateful that you were available to perform the funeral when [person’s name] died unexpectedly. We understand now why the funeral home recommended you so profoundly. Thank you for handling the situation with the family with grace and kindness.
#3 Thank you for doing the funeral service for my grandma. I know you didn’t know her for long, being new to the church. She liked your sermons and requested that you perform her service in her final days. The family is grateful for your support as we continue to process Grandma’s passing.
#4 I appreciate all you did for [person’s name] funeral. The family wasn’t sure how to do anything for it and appreciated your advice and guidance on the service order. And thank you for having all the verses sung in the hymns. That detail was important to [person’s name].
#5 Thank you for your beautiful words sharing the life of [person’s name]. She loved the Lord and hoped your message inspired at least a few people to take a closer look at how they are living. Thank you for being there for the family.
#6 We appreciate the time you spend helping us plan [person’s name] funeral. Also, thank you for delivering the message and sharing stories about [him/her]. Having you as the pastor for his funeral meant a lot to [him/her] and to the entire family. You were his favorite pastor.
#7 The entire family thanks you for conducting the funeral service for [person’s name]. We appreciated the message and that you were able to say the prayer at the meal held afterward. Thank you for being there for us.
Thank You Note to the Pastor for Wedding Messages
Here are some example thank-you messages to thank the pastor, minister, or priest for officiating a wedding.
Related: To thank people at your wedding other than the pastor, read the wedding thank you note messages.
#1 Thank you for performing our wedding ceremony. We were honored to have you as part of our big day. The short message was touching, and everyone liked your jokes.
#2 We are ever so grateful to you for officiating our wedding! Thank you for keeping it short and to the point. You have an excellent way with words. Many family members told us later how much they enjoyed you as the pastor.
#3 Thank you for helping us plan the order of service for our wedding. It turned out just how we wanted it. We are thankful once again for your guidance!
#4 We want to thank you for being the pastor at your wedding. Thank you for agreeing to marry us even though we haven’t known you for long. We will always remember your joyful attitude.
#5 We are thankful for your time with us for pre-marital counseling. We enjoyed getting to know you better. And thanks for a beautiful wedding ceremony!
#6 We are thankful for your experience with weddings! Thanks to you, the ceremony was perfect. Thank you for your recommendations and guidance. Everything was just how we wanted it.
#7 Thank you for being a part of our wedding day. The ceremony was beautiful, and we appreciate your words during it. Thank you for your contribution to our special day.
Thank You to the Pastor for Leadership or Service Messages
Here are some example thank-you note messages to show your appreciation to your pastor for their leadership or service.
#1 Thank you for all you do for the church and for helping people behind the scenes. Many people have a crisis that they don’t share with the entire church, and you have provided support for them. Your ongoing dedication is appreciated.
#2 I want to take a moment to recognize your leadership within the church. You are great at keeping everything organized and delegating tasks that are better done by others. Thank you for keeping us on track with God’s mission for our church.
#3 We are blessed to have you as the pastor of our church. Because of your example, many others are getting involved in our service programs. We are helping many in the community thanks to your guidance. The free food program is assisting hundreds not to struggle as much each week!
#4 Thank you for being a wonderful example of how church members should serve each other. Your kindness and generosity are a blessing to everyone. I’m looking forward to seeing who the church with help next.
#5 You are an inspiring leader! Thank you for taking our church and our mission to serve the community to the next level. I hope many in the congregation will follow your example and that many more will find their salvation in Jesus.
#6 Thank you for being so generous with your time. The way you quietly lead is inspiring. Because of you, I’m living a more Biblical life.
#7 We are thankful for your leadership and service. You are a wonderful man of God. So many young people have been helped learn more about Jesus because of how well you can relate to their generation. [Child’s name] has been different since the mission trip. He’s much more generous with his allowance and looks for ways to help others.
Thank You Note to the Pastor For Preaching Messages
Here are some example thank-you messages for when you want to thank the pastor, priest, or minister for preaching the Word of God.
#1 I want to thank you for your message last Sunday. I will be taking action and making some changes in my life. Your words were meant for me.
#2 Your messages in the current series on [topic] have been excellent. I have been looking for ways to implement the ideas. Yesterday at work was a start when I told a friend about [topic]. Thanking you for sharing your inspiring words.
#3 Your sermon last Sunday was just wanted I needed to hear. Thank you for preaching the Word of God in a way that I can relate to. I’m learning more about the Bible and Jesus than ever before. I appreciate your insights. And I’m excited to share my faith with others.
#4 You are a wonderful preacher. Thank you for sharing God’s Word with us each week. I can tell that you spend a lot of time preparing. The lessons on Jonah challenged me.
#5 Thank you for your sermon last week. It was a refreshing way to hear about [Topic from Bible]. I will be memorizing the verses that you pointed out. I sincerely appreciate the way you preach the Word of God. I glean so many insights that help me with my spiritual growth.
#6 I am excited to attend church every Sunday. The way you tell stories is relatable and funny. I am sharing them with my coworkers on Monday and hope that one day they will decide to follow Jesus too. Thank you for sharing with the church every week and for being our spiritual leader.
#7 I am grateful for your preaching. I am growing closer to God because of what I’m learning on Sundays and studying during the week. Keep up the great work!
Words of Appreciation for Pastor Anniversary
Another great time to show appreciation for your Pastor is when they celebrate as when they celebrate an anniversary with the church. Many of the examples above may also be fitting. The example thank you messages in this section will mention the anniversary.
#1 Thank you for serving our church for another year! We are blessed to have you as our pastor and leader. You are a faithful servant of God, and we appreciate you for all that you do.
#2 Happy 10th Anniversary! We are grateful for your many years of service to our church and the community. Thank you for all the prayers, time away from your family, sacrifice, and God-inspired sermons. Your work and faithfulness are a blessing to many.
#3 Thank you for being a servant of the church of God. We appreciate your dedication for the last five years. You are a wonderful pastor and have a gift for conveying the Word in a way that the average congregation member can understand.
#4 As we celebrated your 10th anniversary, we want you to know how appreciated you are. Thank you for loving our church so well. We are thankful for you, your time, dedication, love for Jesus, and putting others first.
#5 Thank you for being a great pastor! We are grateful to have you as our spiritual leader. Thank you for all that you’ve done for us during the past year. With your initiative to give away as much money as possible, many community members have seen the love of God.
- Thank you note examples for post surgery/hospital stay meals
- Church volunteer appreciation ideas and thank you notes
- Thank You to a Church Musician (organist, praise band member, etc.)
My printable PDF Pastor Cards are available on Etsy.