by the editors of CTPastors.com
This Christmas, forego the wooden praying hands, the cross-stitched Bible verses, and the clever bobble-heads. When we asked pastors what they wanted for Christmas, most of their answers fell into one of three categories: appreciation, rest, and time. So think twice before grabbing that last-minute Starbucks gift card; this list is for those looking to go a little bit deeper as they seek out the perfect gift for the preacher in their life.
1. Books, Books, Books
Pastors love books. But they don’t just love reading books. Like bloodhounds searching for raccoons, pastors love shopping, even hunting, for books! So don’t just give your pastor a paperback or an Amazon gift card. Give your pastor a book-buying experience. Here’s how it might work. Ask your pastor about his or her favorite bookstore or book publisher. Try Googling “latest catalog for Publisher X.” (We tried it with a few publishers, and it brought us to the order page for their latest catalog.) Order a catalog or two and hand them to your pastor with a check or cash gift and the following stipulation: “Must be used to purchase a book from one of these catalogs. Have fun shopping!” – Matt Woodley, Church of the Resurrection in Wheaton, Illinois
2. A Vacation
The holiday season may be the most wonderful time of the year, but for pastors, it’s also the busiest. Imagine having to plan Advent, Christmas Eve, Christmas, and New Year’s services and celebrations all in a row. And let’s just say spending time with extended family can be taxing. (Remember what happens to prophets in their home towns.) That’s why a vacation to look forward to would be an ideal gift for pastors to receive this holiday. Give us a few days off to rest, clear our minds, and get a fresh start for the new year. – Angel Maldonado, The Path Church in Atlanta, Georgia
Unless you have family living nearby, it is hard and expensive to find a babysitter you can trust. When someone from the congregation or staff offered to watch my kids for an evening so my husband and I could go out for a leisurely dinner or a movie, it was a thoughtful treat. Not only did it communicate care for my marriage and me, but it also showed my kids that these special people in the church liked them and wanted to be with them, which made my children feel more comfortable and loved when they were at church. Priceless! – Carolyn Taketa, Calvary Community Church in Westlake Village, California
SOURCE: Christianity Today: “Pastors”