FIRST-PERSON: Pastor Appreciation Day ideas for kids & teens

INDIANAPOLIS (BP) -- As your church demonstrates love on Pastor Appreciation Day -- many churches celebrate it the second Sunday in October -- parents and teachers can provide opportunities for children to honor him, too. Kids could make a banner. Sign a T-shirt. Sing a thank-you song. Draw a card. Or try one of these meaningful, fresh ideas:

-- Rap the pastor. Download a rap app, write some pastor appreciation words or poetry, and create an instant rap. Perform it for him.

-- Photo gift. Print a large photo of children or teens posed on playground equipment holding "Love my Pastor" signs.

-- Surprise office décor. Use Post-it notes to write dozens of things you appreciate about the pastor. With permission, "decorate" his office walls with the notes. Leave a signed card on his desk.

-- Lawn Art. Teens could make giant signs with words of appreciation for their pastor. Artfully stake the signs on the church or pastor's lawn, add colorful helium balloons, and put a signed thank-you card at the door. Send a quality photo of the display to the local paper.

-- Bookmarks. Cut cardstock bookmark-size. Kids could make colorful thank-you bookmarks and sign the back. Laminate them. Children then could parade by the pastor to present their gift.

-- Poetry book. All teens or children could write a "pastor appreciation" poem -- a limerick, ballad, acrostic, free verse, haiku, or "roses are red" type poem. It can be long or short, serious or funny. Use a binder to create a poetry book.

-- Facebook explosion. Teens who use Facebook can all post appreciation notes on the pastor's site.

-- Art wall. Cover a wall in the church foyer with signed works of "pastor appreciation art" by youth and kids. Preschoolers could color a pastor appreciation color page (many are available online.) Use a binder to make it into a book afterward.

-- Herds of Nerds. Each child could bring one piece of the pastor's favorite candy, such as a box of Nerds or a jawbreaker. Supply extras for those who forget. At an appropriate time during worship, kids can bring their gift for the pastor to a basket at the front.

-- Video thanks. Teens could create a one-minute video-clip to play during worship. Invite all children and youth to surround the pastor as an older teen leads a thanksgiving prayer.

Rap it. Say it. Draw it. Sing it. Act it. Post it. Just do it! Help your kids express sincere appreciation to their pastor this month.

"Now we ask you, brothers, to give recognition to those who labor among you and lead you in the Lord and admonish you, and to regard them very highly in love because of their work. Be at peace among yourselves" (1 Thessalonians 5:12-13).


Diana Davis (www.keeponshining.com) is an author, speaker and wife of the North American Mission Board's vice president for the Midwest region, Steve Davis. Get Baptist Press headlines and breaking news on Twitter (@BaptistPress), Facebook (Facebook.com/BaptistPress ) and in your email ( baptistpress.com/SubscribeBP.asp).

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