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Pastor Appreciation- Bags of Love

In my humble opinion, church members can never thank their pastors or church staff enough.  Especially at a smaller church, going through lots of changes.
Ministry, is a job that never ends. The pastors and staff are constantly trying to serve the congregation with lots of (not always needed) opinions and suggestions being thrown at them constantly.  They have to somehow find the balance to keep the church's old timers, new timers and everyone in-between...happy.  And do this all with love and grace AND within the church's budget.

As a long-time church member, Bible Study leader and volunteer, I often get an up-close look at the mental state of our church staff.  A 'behind-the-scenes' look that most church members would never see.  My current 
observation...Exhaustion.  Our workers are tired! Changes in a church are not easy.  Time for a little encouragement.
Since I couldn't give the church staff more sleep or rest, I came up with another cure...A Bag of Love!  
It's a bag filled with their favorite treats, snacks and a bunch of encouraging love notes.  (Now, who wouldn't want a bag like that?)

Here's how we made this happen.

4 weeks ago, I sent the pastors, Administrative Assistant, Facilities Director and Youth Assistant an email titled:  3 Minute Survey of Your Favorite Things

In the email I asked them the following questions:
Favorite color
Favorite drink
Favorite food/meal
Favorite candy
Favorite snack
Favorite gift card to receive
Favorite hobbies
Favorite things they like to receive under $5.

I then assembled their answers onto a sheet of paper and shared them with our Ladies Bible Study members.
I asked the members to look at the lists and pick up an item or two to add to the bags.  They could get something for every pastor, or just one or two.  If they would rather, they could donate money to go towards a gift certificate.  
(This was completely optional, there was no pressure to contribute gifts or money.)

For the next 3 weeks of our Bible Study, little treats and money came trickling in.  I encouraged the ladies to write little notes on paper hearts to be added to the bags.  
After 3 weeks of collecting, I then assembled the bags and hand delivered them to the desks of the recipients.

Lots of the ladies brought in Twix bars for our Facilities Director. (I'm not sure Twix bars will still be his favorite after eating all of these!)  One member made him his favorite cookies, oatmeal raisin.  We also gifted  him a certificate to his favorite outdoor store, Orvis.  He was thrilled! He told me he was excited to use it to plan for an upcoming camping/fishing trip.

Our Youth and Family Pastor's favorites are chips, popcorn, peppermint tea and smelly soaps.  We needed 2 bags to contain all the chip donations.  She also received her favorite, an Amazon gift card.  She said the bags were just what she needed to help raise her spirits after a long, tough week.

Our Worship Pastor is an artist with love for all things organic and gluten-free.  His favorite meal is salmon, so we gave him a gift certificate to a well-loved nearby fish restaurant.  

Apparently our Worship Pastor saw his bag right before choir practice. My sources tell me that he came out of his office with a big smile on his face, munching on the kale chips.  He was so excited to have a bag filled with all the things he enjoyed eating.

Lots of dark chocolate, Toblerone (his favorite candy), and a gift certificate to his favorite steak house filled up our Senior Pastor's bag.                                             Our Youth Assistant received an Amazon and a Starbucks gift card as well as dark chocolate and kettle chips.
On the survery, many of the staff responded that reading was a favorite hobby.  One Bible Study member gave books to each pastor.

Our Administrative Assistant was the only one in her office early Friday morning, so I got to see her reaction as I handed her the bag.  

She 'oohed' and 'ahhed' as she found colorful socks, her favorite salty snacks and even a toy for her new puppy. 

Taking the time to find out everyone's favorite things was so incredibly helpful.  It made the gifts personal and it was guaranteed that they would love everything inside!  The ladies enjoyed learning everyone's favorites...and I'm sure the list will come in handy the next time we're ready to show some appreciation.

Want to make some bags of love for your church staff?  
Click here to print your own tags.

*A big thank you to all the ladies who contributed to these bags!  Your generosity and love shines Jesus' light to all.  I appreciate you!

Linking up to: MadebyYouMonday,

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