Encouraging and Inspirational Words for Pastor Appreciation

Many Christians name their pastor as a significant influence in their life. Whether it’s from meaningful sermons, support during a challenging time, or from spending time together, pastors can make an impact on other people’s lives. 

Showing appreciation to pastors is a great way to let them know they are making a difference as a spiritual leader. Use these inspirational words for pastor appreciation as a resource for letting them know you recognize and value what they do.

What is Pastor Appreciation?

Being thankful and appreciative of others doesn’t require a date on the calendar. But not too long ago, Pastor Appreciation Day was created.  

In the 1990s, Hallmark began National Clergy Appreciation month for the month of October. The second Sunday of October is Clergy Appreciation Day, or Pastor Appreciation Day. (source) While this is an excellent opportunity to appreciate your pastor, it is not the only time of year to encourage your pastor.

Why should we show appreciation to pastors? Pastors can be under a tremendous amount of pressure, working long hours, and dealing with challenging problems. They often face spiritual attack as they try to reach others to know Jesus and grow in Christ. 

Discouragement is added to difficulties, and some pastors leave the ministry. Soul Shepherding reports in their article on Pastor Stress Statistics that “80% will not be in ministry ten years later and only a fraction make it a lifelong career.” 

Yes, pastors should know that they serve God, and that is enough; but when has someone else’s words encouraged you to persevere? Don’t withhold words of encouragement from pastors. It could make a huge difference in their day.

While you can plan something special for Pastor Appreciation Day or Clergy Appreciation Month, it’s great to send a note, text, or email any day of the year! Some pastors maintain a “happy file” with these inspirational words for pastor appreciation, and find that it helps to review them when they are feeling down or discouraged.

Consider including the pastor’s wife or other pastor’s family members, as they often contribute to the church in unseen ways in supporting the pastor’s role. It could really encourage them as well!

Inspirational Words for Pastor Appreciation

There are many ways to tell your pastor of your appreciation. It’s great to use your own words and write or speak from the heart! But it’s fine to draw inspiration from these inspirational words for pastor appreciation in preparing your letter, card, text message, or speech for your pastor.

Bible Verses as Inspirational Words for Pastor Appreciation

Scripture is an excellent way to encourage pastors. The Word of God is full of truth, and a great reminder for pastors on why they serve. The verses are followed by a couple of sentences that you can include with your message to pastors.

The text of Psalm 119:127 with green leaves as a background, Inspirational Words for Pastor Appreciation at Church Ministry Help

Psalm 119:127

“Let me understand the teaching of your precepts! Then I will meditate on your wondrous works.” Psalm 119:127

If you include this Bible verse in your note, you can follow it with, “I have learned so much from the sermons [teaching, etc.] you have given. Thank you for helping me understand the Bible more. My walk with God is better for it.”

Romans 12:6-8

“Having gifts differing according to the grace that was given to us: if prophecy, let’s prophesy according to the proportion of our faith; or service, let’s give ourselves to service; or he who teaches, to his teaching; or he who exhorts, to his exhorting; he who gives, let him do it with generosity; he who rules, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.” Romans 12:6-8

Putting this in your note to a pastor, you can add, “I really appreciate the gifts God has given you, and how He helps you use them to serve the body of Christ. Thank you for your hard work, spiritual guidance, and for your willingness to be a faithful servant of God.”

The text of 1 Timothy 5:17 with green leaves as a background, Inspirational Words for Pastor Appreciation at Church Ministry Help

1 Timothy 5:17

“Let the elders who rule well be counted worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in the word and in teaching.” 1 Timothy 5:17

You could add this heartfelt pastor appreciation message, “Thank you for being faithful in God’s Word, both in living it and in teaching it. Your service is very much appreciated!” This also would be a good message to pass along to other church leaders.

Ephesians 4:11-12

“He gave some to be apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, shepherds and teachers; for the perfecting of the saints, to the work of serving, to the building up of the body of Christ.” Ephesians 4:11-12

After this Scripture, you could add, “Thank you for being a good shepherd to this church. We appreciate the great work of the Lord that you do! Your years of service have made a significant impact in our faith community.”

The text of Jeremiah 3:15 with green leaves as a background, Inspirational Words for Pastor Appreciation at Church Ministry Help

Jeremiah 3:15

“I will give you shepherds according to my heart, who will feed you with knowledge and understanding.” Jeremiah 3:15

After you write this in a greeting card, you can say, “I have seen your heart over the years, and truly believe that you have a heart that seeks after God. Thank you for strengthening our congregation with the knowledge and understanding that comes from God’s Word.”

The following video includes these verses plus quotes for inspirational words for pastor appreciation.

Thoughtful Messages as Inspirational Words for Pastor Appreciation

Want to write a note to express gratitude to your pastor, but you are struggling to come up with inspirational words for pastor appreciation? These 10 messages can help you get started writing your letter. Each section highlights an aspect of a pastor that you might want to compliment.


Over the years, I have noticed your faithful service at this church. Through times of abundance, and through difficult times, you have always kept at doing what is best for the direction of this church. Thank you for persisting, and setting an example of perseverance.


Your character reflects your close relationship with the Lord. Our church is blessed to have you as an upstanding leader of integrity. May God bless you as you follow Him!


When I read in 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, “Always rejoice. Pray without ceasing. In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus toward you,” I am reminded of you! Thank you for being so faithful in prayer. It reflects your trust in the Lord.


Pastor, thank you for the sermons you faithfully bring to us each Sunday. I find them encouraging and inspiring. We are grateful for the hours of study you put into preparing these messages.


We are so thankful to have your leadership at our church, and grateful for you equipping others by mentoring them to be spiritual leaders. It is a great blessing to our church.


Thank you for your commitment to bring the Word of God to us in your teaching. I have learned more about the Bible as you have taught through the Bible, and it has helped me in my walk with God.


One of the things that I love about our church is that it is a friendly and welcoming church. Thank you for setting an example of this, making everyone who visits or attends here feel like part of a church family.


Dear Pastor, I am so thankful for the kindness that you have shown to me and others at this church. Your thoughtful actions and words are a blessing to others, and honor the Lord!


The compassion and grace you show to others is a good example of the compassion and grace of God for us. We are so thankful for you.


Thank you for your vision and direction for our church. You are willing to think big and dream big. It has been amazing to be part of what God is doing in this church through this willingness to grow His kingdom.

Inspirational Quotes for Pastors

These best pastor appreciation quotes can be a great way to introduce a pastor at a pastor appreciation event. These are written as a part of a speech, but you can adapt them for writing into a note to the pastor.

Quote by Corrie ten Boom with green leaves as a background, Inspirational Words for Pastor Appreciation at Church Ministry Help

“When we are powerless to do a thing, it is a great joy that we can come and step inside the ability of Jesus.” – Corrie ten Boom

God has given our pastor many gifts and talents, and we are blessed by them each day. But I’ve noticed a humility in our pastor, a willingness to work outside of those strengths and to lean wholly on the strength and power of our Lord Jesus Christ. This has made our church stronger and healthier. Today we come to honor our pastor, a true leader who follows God.

Quote by Francis Chan with green leaves as a background, Inspirational Words for Pastor Appreciation at Church Ministry Help

“True faith means holding nothing back. It means putting every hope in God’s fidelity to His Promises.” – Francis Chan, Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a Relentless God

Our pastor is someone who is crazy about God. This is not someone who has a backup plan for if this “Christian thing” doesn’t work out! Our pastor is all in. This standard of hope and faithfulness is a great inspiration to us at our church, and we are so grateful to our pastor for setting this example. We appreciate you, pastor, and thank you for being a role model of faith to us.

Quote by Charles H Spurgeon with green leaves as a background, Inspirational Words for Pastor Appreciation at Church Ministry Help

“The Christian should work as if all depended upon him, and pray as if it all depended upon God.” – Charles H. Spurgeon

Have you seen how hard our pastor works? Some people think that our pastor only works on Sunday mornings, but that simply isn’t true. Being a pastor is hours of studying God’s Word, of counseling people in difficult times, of taking care of administrative details that we never notice, of being at far more local church events than the typical church member. 

But our pastor adds to that hours of prayer. I know that if I want a prayer warrior on my side, that I will go to our pastor. 

James 5:16 NIV says, “The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective,” and I have seen that many times in our pastor. The pastor’s prayers are not magical or enchanted; they are righteous and faithful. We are so blessed as a church to have our pastor’s prayers.

Thank you to our dear pastor for the hard work of ministry and prayer! We appreciate you so much.

Gift Album to Collect Inspirational Words for Pastor Appreciation

Help your pastor reflect on these special messages by collecting these words of sincere appreciation from others. One way to do that is to distribute cards to others in the congregation with space for them to write their encouraging words of appreciation. 

Preview of free thank you printable for inspirational words for pastor appreciation - Church Ministry Help

You can use either one of these free downloads for Pastor Appreciation Messages; one is a full sheet of letter sized paper with 2 one-sided cards on it; when trimmed, they should measure 4″ x 6″; size may vary by printer. Please print a test page to see where you would like to trim to achieve a 4 x 6 print with your printer. The other download is just one of the one-sided cards, sized 4 x 6. Download them here.

Distribute these cards about a month ahead of time, if possible, and specify the date you want them returned. You can also decide if you want them to submit a photo, or if you want to take a photo, to include in their album. (Here’s an example of the album you could use).

Once you’ve collected the notes and optional pictures, you can assemble your book and give it to your pastor.

May these inspirational words for Pastor Appreciation help you encourage your pastor, whether it is Pastor Appreciation Month, Clergy Appreciation Day, or any other day of the entire year!

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