There are a lot of people outside of immediate family and friends that we should tip/buy a Christmas present for. Most list include your hairdresser, the mailman, garbage pick-up, lawn care provider, pet care provider, newspaper deliverer, your child’s teacher, and I’m sure that I missed a few. Unfortunately, you don’t hear many people talk about what you should get your Pastor for Christmas. Since I am a Pastor I thought I would make it easy for all those looking for that perfect gift to give your Pastor this Christmas. You are going to be shocked at the cost, but just think about the investment you are making.
- Make the church a priority! Pastors live, breathe, and sacrifice for the church daily. We preach when we are dog sick, emotionally drained, spiritually attacked, and physically exhausted. When we know someone will be at church each week with a “whatever it takes” attitude we want to scream HALLELUJAH from the top of Mt.Everest. Choosing to make church attendance, serving, and tithing a priority is essential for your personal growth, and seeing you grow closer to Jesus is what we live for. Don’t forget that being an active part in the life of the church is completely your responsibility, not your Pastors. It’s not about what you get from the church it’s about what you can give to the Bride of Christ!
- Let your kids worship! Pastors, staff, and volunteers go to great lengths to provide a safe, educational, and exciting environments for your kids to experience Jesus in their unique way. We also work hard preparing a sermon that is crafted to be delivered to adults as a single message without major distractions. So, for the love of all things holy think about the spiritual needs of those around you, yourself, and your child by simply letting them go have fun and learn about Jesus. Just because the Pastor keeps preaching does not mean he is not distracted. Don’t rob a message that your kids, other adults, and yourself need to hear. Plus, if you were anything like me as a child I slept, colored, went to the bathroom 4 times, and/or crawled under the pews during the sermon anyway.
- Communicate! Never assume your Pastor knows what’s going on in your life. Jesus had 12 disciples and was really close to 3. If Jesus could only keep up with 12 don’t expect your Pastor to keep up with more than that. Your Pastor IS NOT JESUS! He/she has a personal life that probably includes raising children, being a supportive spouse, extended family, friends, and stress relieving hobbies. That doesn’t mean we don’t love you, in fact, we have been given a special heart for our people and love sharing life with you. Communicate and never assume that your Pastor can read your mind or has seen your latest Facebook status. Pastors want to share life with you but can’t if you have not communicated properly.
- Follow Through! If you say you’re going to do something then do it with the best of your abilities. Pastors are very passionate about the church, and most have spent sleepless nights and long days contemplating what it will take to accomplish the massive vision God has burned inside of our soul. If a Pastor trust you to fill a leadership position then the Holy Spirit has led him/her to you through devoted time and prayer. They believe in your potential and are willing to invest personal time, care, and resources to see you do great things for the Kingdom. The quickest way to dishonor your Pastor, make him/her look foolish, and break their heart is to abuse the trust they have given you to lead others.
- Be Positive! Life is hard on everyone including Pastors. Most people feed off the spiritual and emotional energy of their Pastor without hesitation. Be a person that prays, encourages, and lifts up your Pastor. Don’t assume they are having a great day just because they are smiling. Be the one your Pastor wants to see coming down the hall or calling on the phone. We love people that are positive because many times we are thrown into extremely negative and draining situations. We need your prayers, encouragement, fun times, and laughs just as much as you need ours.
Well, I guess you thought I was going to mention a specific bible or something real easy for you to purchase… sorry about that. You see those kinds of gifts are easy and don’t cost anything from your heart. The tangible things are nice to get, but what we really want is to see you in love with the church as much as we are. We want to see you reach your full potential through a relationship with Jesus Christ and within His church! Your Pastor wants to tear up beside you when the person you brought to church gives their life to Jesus. We want to stand with you in celebration witnessing as new believers come up from the waters of baptism. We want to step foot with you into a new facility that will reach the community, and break ground together as we plant a new churches because you gave to the Kingdom first!
There are so many “things” you can give your Pastor this Christmas, but the most important is to be what God created you to be within the church.
Pastors, I want to encourage you to share this and add to the list. I want to see what you would add. You never know we all might get several new perfect gifts this year.
PS. A sit-down PacMan/Galaga arcade game is never a bad gift…