Tell Us What You Love About Your Pastor & Win Your Pastor a Gift Card

Margaret —  October 15, 2012 — 76 Comments


October is Pastor Appreciation Month, and we’re asking you to go out of your way to show your pastor and church staff how much you appreciate them. We recently shared 26 ideas on how to celebrate your pastor this month.

We invited you share stories of what you appreciate most about your pastor and members of your church staff in our October e-newsletter. We were overwhelmed by your responses! We already awarded a gift card to one pastor, but we quickly realized this is not enough. Too many great people are doing too many great things for their love of God, people, and the church.

We have a handful of gift cards to places such as Starbucks and iTunes, and we want to give your pastor and church staff a chance to win!

All YOU NEED TO DO is post the name of the pastor or church staff member you’d like to recognize and what you appreciate most about that person on this blog post.

We’ll select a handful of winners and announce them in our November e-newsletter. If you’re not a subscriber, scroll down, and you can sign up at the very bottom of the page.

We can’t wait to hear what great things you have to say about your church leadership!


*Photo courtesy of here


Thank you for reading. I’d love to connect with you through the comments. Don’t forget to subscribe via RSS!


76 responses to Tell Us What You Love About Your Pastor & Win Your Pastor a Gift Card

  1. I’ll be honest, our church has about a zillion Pastors and ALL are wonderful. We’re truly blessed at Christ Fellowship (South Florida). But when you tweeted out this question one sprang into my mind – Pastor Rick Miller, the Head of Congregational Care at the Gardens Campus. Pastor Rick is always so quick with a smile and an encouraging word – thrusting out his hand as he quickens his pace toward you. The love oozes off of him. He’s my “go-to” guy when I have a question or an issue. From the minor – what’s your take on this passage? to the major “Satan’s influence on … we need help;” he is always ready and willing to stop and assist. You might think that is what Pastors are supposed to do, but I am only one of over 20 thousand at this Campus and that kind of attention is simply amazing!
    Pastor Rick – you are LOVED!
    Thanks, Margaret!

  2. I attend Menlo Park Presbyterian Church in Menlo Park, California. One of the things I love about all of our pastors is that they preach the gospel without an agenda. I feel safe listening to their teaching knowing they have opened God’s word, read and studied and prayed and considered and discussed and listened to what it says, and they teach from there. If only one of them can get the Starbucks gift card though I would have to say Scott Scruggs because I think John Ortberg might be a Peet’s guy. But I may be wrong.

  3. My husband, Jim Wooller, is the pastor of our church. We are a small church-plant in western Massachusetts. He is a servant-leader who loves the Lord, preached God’s truth and loves in word and deed. He’s the man our people call for godly counsel and the one they call to help them move a sofa! He is both pastor and friend and we love him!

    • Jen, what a special gift to be able to have your husband as your pastor. May he lift many more couches in the years to come!

    • wow … jim wooller…came across this today…it has been YEARS.. but remember the good old days tearin’ up the youth soccer league..still got the pic of you and me playing ping pong at springdale park and all the articles from gillis insurance soccer…where abouts are you .. im in granby now..get back if you would be nice to hear from sending that pic soon

  4. The pastor of our smallish community church is John Willis. He is awesome! We just celebrated Pastor Appreciation Day yesterday with a brunch in his honor. John is a pastor who loves his “flock” more than anything and has given his heart to serving and loving us. He is extremely sacrificial and persevering. He does not give up. He stays committed to us, to The Lord, and to seeing us grow and flourish as a church body. He is simply the best! I have never met another pastor like him.

  5. I appreciate my pastor for the time he takes to invest in the younger generation of leaders– truly desires to see them discipled and become disciplers. He sees gifts and talents that God has blessed us with and goes great lengths to see those cultivated and developed. Thanks Mr. Rick for all you do to love on your church family.

  6. My Pastor
    My Pastor or Bishop is a loyal friend. Faithful Follower of Jesus Christ. He preaches the word with fire and passion. He challenges us to draw closer to the One who created us. He is not afraid to get his feet wet. He ALWAYS leads by example. He corrects those who need to be corrected with Love and backs everything with scripture. When faced with decisions to make within the church, you will always find him in prayer, seeking wise counsel and letting the pastor’s counsel know what’s taking place.
    The other side of my pastor is, that, he has allowed my husband and I to be apart of his inner circle. We have seen him cry. We have seen him angry. We have seen aside of the shepherd many don’t get to see. I appreciated that, because he is being real, and relevant around us.
    I appreciate his sense of humor. I appreciate his prayers. I place a VERY high value on our partnership with Pastor and Sister Oliver. They have become our family.
    It’s sad to say, but I am happy too, A new season has come for my pastor and his family. They will be moving at the end of the month to pastor another church. I am so thankful that the Good Shepherd, placed my family under the ministry of the Oliver’s. During a season of my life when I needed them most. They were there. I am thankful for their love and support.

    • Kim, how awesome that you and your husband get to be your pastor’s inner circle. You get to be in the front row seat in each other’s lives and cheerlead each other on!

  7. My pastor doesn’t take a salary. He works full time at a school but still finds time to prepare for our Sunday meeting, where he doesn’t just give a sermon but engages everyone in discussion, and encourages us and equips us to do the work of ministry.

  8. My husband is a licensed Foursquare pastor and he planted and pastored a church in Indiana for 16 years! Because of his faithfulness, three years ago, he was appointed as a District Supervisor over 6 states of churches in the Heartland. He now pastor’s pastors of 150 churches! I want to honor him because now that we aren’t “doing life” together with a congregation it gets a bit lonely and sometimes is an unappreciated position making sure our pastors have a healthy home and church life! He is a man of wisdom, integrity, and servants heart plus a wonderful husband and dad! His congregation is all the pastors and congregations that he cares for and I bless him this month! He’s the real deal!

  9. I would like to mention Than Baylor, Children’s Ministry Pastor at Southern Gables ( in Littleton – I worked with him for years as a volunteer and have seen him serve, teach, etc. and there are many good things to say about why I pick him but mainly his heart for the Lord shows through all his hard work and dedication to the Children’s ministry there. Thank you.

  10. Our Pastor just retired a month ago and their is a retired Navy Chaplin in the church who stepped up to take of the position while the church looks for another full time Pastor. He has a full time job as a hospice Chaplin and also leads the music worship.
    Our sectary is amazing too. She works full time for CHKD hospital and never want to take credit for anything. She organizes events and all the goes on in the church

  11. My pastor is L. W. Francisco from Calvary Community Church in Hampton, VA. The reason I appreciate him is personal. I joined the church with my family when I was twelve. His daughter and I quickly became best friends and he sort of adopted me as one of his own daughters. I grew up without a Father and the impact my pastor has had on my life as caregiver, spiritual father and mentor has made me a better person. He is constant and cool as a cucumber 🙂 Often his faith in God has steadied my own faith walk. He has taught me and many of my church embers so much by the example he sets. He’s nothing short of a blessing.

  12. Pastor David Leeder at 1st Church of Nazarene in Kokomo, IN! He is from England and is Brit through and through, we LOVE him dearly and he is affectionatley referred to as our British bulldog.He had evangilized all over the world before we were blessed with him. He teaches the Word of God with conviction and passion, wanting none to miss the boat of salvation. He bravely counsels us against “worldly” desires and steers us to be real followers of Jesus instead of simply fans of Jesus. He does not tell us what we want to hear, but exactly what scriptures reveal as truth, even when that truth is not popular, and he does it all with great love. I find comfort in that steadfast truth, even on days I might prefer a “feel good” message, it’s more important to hear the Word of God. May God bless all of those who strive to do His work from the pulpit.

  13. Sorry……..misspelled my domain name on my addy on my former post, I just noticed it when I hit send 🙁

  14. Sorry……..misspelled my domain name on my addy on my former post, I just noticed it when I hit send 🙁

  15. My pastor is Tim Wolfe at 1027 Church in Atlanta, but I’d like to brag on both Tim and his wife Pam. I started going to this church a little over a year ago when my sister started bringing me with her, and I can’t even begin to describe to you the difference Tim and Pam have made in my own spiritual walk. I have never been more into Jesus as I am now, and it’s because of them leading me and encouraging me to draw closer to Christ. Not only do we get to hear Tim preach every Sunday (he is an AMAZING teacher), but he also leads our community group that meets at their house every Monday night, so we can dive even deeper into the scriptures we studied at church the day before. Pam is the most welcoming woman you could ever meet. She is constantly hosting people at her house, whether it’s a neighbor, church members, or even just a friend of a friend needing a place to stay while visiting Atlanta. She and I run together a couple days a week, and I always leave feeling refreshed, not just because of the exercise, but because she listens to me and offers words of advice and encouragement right at the moment I need to hear them.

    They both meet people at Starbucks whenever anyone needs prayer or just needs to talk with them, so I know a surprise gift card would just really be a blessing to them! 🙂

  16. We have a young pastor is sooo smart. He LOVES to dive into the word and he communicates it so well. He knows he is gifted but he is not arrogant rather he recognizes he has a responsibility to use his gifts. He is leading a church that had been entrenched in tradition and stuck in its ways. He is gently bringing us to intentional ministry. He is truly a godsend. I love his heart!

  17. I work with the students at my church in West Wareham, MA. I have been blessed to serve with a Godly leader named Pastor Joel Knudsen. He is a man of the Word, he has raised 4 adult children, he has a bunch of grandchildren. He is humble and gracious and is a blessing to our church family and our community!

  18. My pastors- Earl and Ben- have been tremendous in my walk. I spent 5 months as a missionary in the red lights of Kolkata. It was the hardest thing I have ever done and I saw many atrocious things- from rape to suicide to children being beaten. When I came back, I went back to the large church I had previously attended but found that they had moved on to other missionaries, other projects, and building a new sanctuary. Essentially, it felt like I didn’t matter and the culture shock set in along with depression, bitterness, and questions about God and community. I really started to believe that community was false and that no one could really love me and want to spend life with me outside of the plastic services. One day, I was invited to a church plant and decided to give it a shot. Shoreline Dallas meets in a movie theater so it was less menacing to go there. As soon as I walked in, a semi-hipster black guy came up to me and said “I don’t know you.” The mere fact he said that told me he wanted to know me though. He introduced me to his wife and she kept me busy until service started. It turns out, that guy was the Pastor! He personally greets everyone! Since then, Pastor Earl and Pastor Ben and family have shown me community. We had baptisms in a hot tub! We argue theology over texts and they patiently wait for me to stop kicking and screaming because they know the root of it all is a deep,deep pain that no one before them and this family has ever stopped to ask about. Really, they deserve way more than gift cards. Personally, I think they have a huge treasure waiting for them in Heaven. I am shaking right now because I just love this family so much. Because of their leadership, the church follows and I wake up to at least three encouraging messages a day- Hebrews 10:23ff! I am beyond thankful. I have to keep asking God- is this real? People actually love like this?! Yes, they do… Simply because our Pastors teach us how to love by example.

  19. Exactly year ago my pastor (Albert Tate) obeyed Gods calling and decided to plant a new church in Monrovia, California. We met in peoples houses through the fall, and in January, we officially launched our first service at the community center. We were expecting one, maybe two hundred people to show up, and then God did something incredible, over 400 people came. Now after only 6 months we are up to about 900 people weekly. My pastor is an amazing father and husband, and has poured to much time effort and passion into our church. People continue to flood in because my pastor unashamedly preached the truth and the gospel, and has managed to create a community where people feel loved and heard and belonged. I just recently started on staff there, and needless to say, to go form 20 people to 900 people in a year is hard work! I think he definitely deserves a little reward 🙂

  20. This is our pastor Stephen’s first church as the lead minister. He and his family arrived in July. He was used to a large church in a much more urban area but they have made themselves at home here so quickly that it is hard to remember that they are new to the area and a more rural church.
    He quickly he learned the names and preferences of our congregation. He has been hard at work going out into the community to introduce himself and invite people to come and have Wednesday night meals with us and attend the functions for children and youth. Having a grandson in the youth group I know how fond they are of him already. Already we are seeing new faces at Sunday worship. Personally I say Thank You Lord for sending Pastor Stephen Knopp II to us at Christ United Methodist Church in Drexel, NC.

  21. Margaret,
    One of the things I like about Destiny church in Broken arrow Oklahoma is that they love people. It is not just a motto or slogan but it is practiced. We have people that dress in their Sunday best and people that look like they are from a bike gang. We have people in jeans and T-shirts and people of all shapes and sizes. No one is looked down upon by others for what they wear. Pastor Mike Goolsbay took over about 5 years ago as senior pastor in the midst of great turmoil. They have come through many challenges but it has made them better not bitter. They are able to help others overcome. They give away thousands of dollars every month to support missions and people in need. No one in the church is excessively wealthy but everyone gives what they can. Two examples of Pastor Mikes Generosity are when a children’s pastor at the local homeless shelter needed a computer to help him minister better, the church gave him one. It was not just a computer though, it was a state of the art- top of the line-makes 3d movies computer. He gives more than what is asked because God is big hearted. God used Pastor Mike to give me new glasses and bring some healing to my heart. My glasses were broken and I have been out of work and unable to afford fixing them. I had missed alot of work due to migraines. When I got my eyes checked the dr said my prescription had changed so much that I should be having migraines. Since getting my beautiful new glasses, not only can I see and I am headache free but I feel seen. I don’t feel like I am invisible anymore. I feel like God was reaching down and saying I haven’t forgotten you. I know you have needs and I am working to meet them.

  22. I want to share about our amazing Youth and Young Adult Minister, Jill. We have been in ministry together now in 2 different churches. She truly lives out our mission to love God, love people and meet them where they are to share the grace of God. She has a heart for the lost, the broken and those who do not know they need Jesus. She has ministered through some difficult health issues and remained faithful. When you are in a small church and you care for those who are not your “usual” church kids there are not alot of extra perks. But she serves because God has shown her love and she wants others to know the same love. She is a coffee nut so the gift of Starbucks would make her day + just knowing that her story matters would be awesome. Gina

  23. my nomination is Jim West….Colonial Presbyterian Church. He committed, with the support of his elders, to pay down millions in building debt amidst a challenging economy. “stewardship requires that our money goes more toward people and mission than in to this building.” Unpopular to some, but am happy to report that significant progress has been made and it’s truly doing something in the lives of people….even had people sign up to do the maintenance functions and other jobs so that our church no longer outsources or needs to hire as many staff….

  24. Love our pastor because he isn’t afraid to step on toes when it comes to sharing the truth and important topics. He has a large congregation, but still manages to lead it like a small one… We have been over to his house to eat and hang-out more than a few times in our short time there 🙂

  25. There are so many things I love about our pastors, but here is the short list. They are real and authentic from the pulpit, they are relatable, and they are not afraid to deliver the truth even when it stings.

    My pastors are:
    Shawn Johnson, Red Rocks Church, Golden, CO
    Chad Bruegman, Red Rocks Church, Golden, CO

  26. Marvalyn Chandler October 22, 2012 at 3:56 pm

    Hi Margaret, my Pastors are Mark and Kathy Fitzssimmons, here at The LighthouseFoursquare Church in Taft, Ca. They both live out in the world exactly how they teach us on Sunday morning to live and love people to Jesus. Show people love and you are showing them Jesus .A few years ago we had an older lady who lived alone and was going to have to go through treatment for cancer. Her kids, who live in the L.A. area, were going to have to take her down there so they could help her through this, but she really did not want to leave her “church family”. the church she had been going to since the early “40’s”……Pastors asked her family if they could move her into their spare bedroom and care for her through this hard time. She beat the cancer and eventually moved back into he own home. This act of love is only one example I have seen of their love for their “flock’. Their message to us is all about relationship with Jesus, a very personal relationship.More of Him.

  27. My Pastor’s Wife died of breast cancer 10 years ago today. His second oldest Son just finished his sixth round of chemo. My Pastor loves Jesus. He loves Jesus in the midst of incredible suffering. During our family’s time of suffering, one of our sayings was, “All you need is just a little bit of hope everyday.” I would like to give him a little bit of kindness and a little bit of hope this day. Thank you for doing this!

    • jo evans, I pray peace, strength, and courage for your pastor as he faces today and other difficult times ahead. May he feel God’s arms wrap around him and feel secure in his love

  28. My Pastor, Michael Fuelling is a great mentor to many! I appreciate how he preaches the Word, and applies it to our lives. He has been creative in helping our church keep the focus of sharing the gospel forefront! The latest innovative idea was passing out “Random Act of Kindness” cards to the congregation. At an opportune moment through out the week, we are encouraged to share some kindness with someone. It could be letting them go in front of us in line at the grocery store, or paying for someones McDonalds as we are in the drive through etc. Then just hand them the “Kindness Card” which has the churches name and address on it. For some of us it takes the scariness of sharing our faith, and encourages to have servant hearts!

  29. G’morning Margaret,
    I came from a HUGE church of 6,000 people to a rural church of about 60-100 people 3 years ago.
    My husband and I both know, without a doubt, that God brought us to Sonoita, Arizona to be part of the Harvest Christian Fellowship church family. Being a part of a small church has been a surprising, growing, loving, involved, truthful, Spirit Filled, experience EVER. Our Pastor, Ed Schaeffer, is a man “dripping” of the Holy Spirit, a friend, a Shepherd of his flock who speaks the truth. I have never learned so much, grown so close in my relationship with God, helped so much within a church body, as I have here, within this church body. God is doing an amazing work in me and my husband, and Pastor Ed is our biggest encourager and friend. We are always moved by how the Holy Spirit works through him to give us a truthful message every Sunday. We are truly blessed to be a part of this amazing Pastor’s flock.

  30. As a staff pastor, I would have to say the lead pastor I serve with at Pittsfield Assembly, Glen Hammons, is a huge blessing to the body of Christ. Not only is he the lead pastor for our church, but he is also a pastor to pastors. He has mentored and helped train others to effectively do the work of the ministry, with many of them now in full time ministry themselves. He has made significant investments in the lives of our staff so that they can fully do what they have been called to do. It is an amazing thing to serve with someone who doesn’t view full time ministry as a “job” but as an amazing privilege with the opportunity to impact eternity. With Pastor Glen, it is not about making a name for ourselves, but it is all about making the name of Jesus Christ known.

  31. Pastor Schori, Naperville Christian Church
    He has a huge heart to help those in need and to stand for justice for victims of domestic violence. He has made our congregation a safe church for dv victims. He helps the less fortunate in Haiti by visiting and helping build a school.

  32. Our Pastor Joseph Fernandes here at Osoyoos Christian Center came to our tiny congregation with a true heart to SERVE. He held down a “regular” job and commuted here foe a long while. He worked hard to build a great relationship with our congregation and in particular our seniors. Joseph came to us a single man (42) with Godly morals and married just this past summer. His job expired, he moved here and is now ministering on a small salary and BIG FAITH. He has almost singlehandedly transformed our church inside and out. We are so very proud of him. We pray the Lord will draw the people in for him to minister.

    • Barb, Love this–love that he has poured himself into your congregation sacrificially. So beautiful and inspiring and Christlike. Grateful for him–and you!

  33. My pastor is my husband. I like to tease him from time to time and call him “Preacher”, but the truth is, it’s a great honor to be his wife. I get the privilege of being “behind the scenes” with him as he experiences the highs of praise as well as the lows of spiritual battle. He wrestles with great intensity to honor the Lord with his sermon preparation and how he handles the people of our church. We are blessed to be under such a strong and focused leader who studies to show himself approved unto God, a workman that need not be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth!

  34. My pastor Rob is our pastor at All Saints, an anglican church. We have been through a painful time in our church where there was a split and some of the members left and formed another church. Rob has lifted Jesus up through all of this and been such a witness to all of us as a man seeking to follow Jesus in all he does! He is not a perfect man as none of us are but a man who loves his Lord with all of his heart. Now Rob is facing a tremendous challenge, fighting cancer but even through this, he is claiming victory and praising God through this time. We are blessed to have him in our church and I love him as a brother and as my pastor!

  35. I’m hopping on board a little late here, Margaret, after recently learning of you. I follow Jennifer Dukes Lee, and she mentioned you in a blog post several weeks ago I’ve been devouring every one of your posts — I have a lot of catching up to do, but I’m so thankful I found you.

    John Carter, Senior Pastor at Abundant Life Christian Center in Easy Syracuse, NY had a dream for a church in central NY — and God was faithful. Pastor Carter is one of the most exciting, encouraging, inspiring teachers of the gospel I have ever encountered. If I had had more teachers like him in school, I can’t even begin to imagine all the knowledge I would have absorbed – and retained – for life. I am just so proud and appreciative of him — of his commitment to diversity (he’s built one of the most socioeconomically, racially, and ethnically diverse congregations in the country), encouraging us to ask questions (he’s doing a series now called questions and answers, where he’s invited the church to text and email him questions which he answers on Friday and Sunday service) and challenging us to be ever-growing students of God’s word.

  36. Mildred Sandoval October 18, 2013 at 9:04 pm

    I’m so grateful for having Pastor Brian Goodell as our Pastor, he is a good “shepherd”. We can feel his love and care for us, the church, he is a person of excellence, and wants everybody feel comfortable, but at the same time, all of us help, have fellowship, like Jesus did with his disciples. The presence of the Holy Spirit is with him. I came from Guatemala 10 years ago, and a friend told me of this church, and the first day I came to The bridge, I could feel “this was the church because the presence of the Lord is here” Pastor Brian and Pastor Cynthia are simply wonderful.

  37. Pastor David Arellano October 15, 2014 at 12:16 pm

    My Pastor is David Arellano.My church is Cornerstone Assembly of God.I love him because he’s a man after God’s own heart.Hes humble,yet preaches with love&conviction.he has endured so
    much in the ministry yet still prays, loves,and most of all forgives.
    Sometimes,his messages are tied in with humor,always encouraging
    his congregation .I thank God for his dedication to serve and be
    faithful.God bless thanks for the opportunity to share.Jn 3:16

  38. My Pastor and his family are amazing! We have a small lake community Church and not much money. He has always been the first to say “Give me less” to allow the Church to give more, or sometimes just to pay the bills. The community here is a hard one to reach. For me…he has baptized my children, helped us raise them, performed their weddings and buried three of my grand babies. He is the first to send an encouraging word or a card. We as a Church are blessed by him allowing God to work through him. He loves the Lord and strives to share Christ’s love where ever he goes. We are blessed by our Pastor and his family and love them dearly. Thank you for letting us share! Please add them to your prayers…Dr Wesley Graver at Twin Oaks Baptist Church.

  39. I returned home to live again after being away for 10 years. The first agenda on my daughters’ to do list was to find a new home Church for us. One of my girls decided to task Siri with finding Churches near us and we check out the first one on the list our first Sunday back. I was beyond blown away. I was in tears when I found out that this Church we were visiting was the Church from my childhood. The Church grew to be so big from when I was attending and they were in an entirely new building. Pastor Drew Shofner blows our family away week after week. He calls for us to be the Church. He relentlessly reminds us that our job is not done just by showing up and hearing the word, but that we need to bring others to know God day in and day out. While we have grown in size tremendously, his focus is not just ensuring our seats are filled. Listening to a Pastor ask us to join a new Church to help them bring in others from their community is the most astonishing thing. His eyes are not on how many people come to our building, but how many people we can help bring to God anywhere. He cares so much about each and every one of us and will always make time for anyone who needs it. In this time, it gets harder and harder to find someone who is willing to keep it real with us and not sugar coat everything. While he always communicates God’s promises, he ensures we know what is expected of us. Most of all, he reminds us each week just how loved we are by our Heavenly Father.

  40. Pastor Roger Hirth, of Harvest Church Pensacola, is a wonderful leader. He is humble, honest, kind, compassionate, funny, and a devoted follower of Christ, husband, and father. He has been a huge blessing to our family! He is an open book, and is always willing to pray with you! He shares his personal experiences to show you God’s perfect faithfulness in hard times.

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