The holiday season often inspires people to be even more generous than they usually are. It's common for church members to give gifts to their congregation leaders such as the pastor, the music minister, childcare workers and other staff. Here are a few ideas for gifts that are bound to please.
Some people think a gift card is an option reserved only for recipients they don't know very well. However, a gift card from the right place can still be a thoughtful choice. You just have to tailor it to your pastor's preferences:
- His or her favorite coffee shop
- The new restaurant he or she has been wanting to try
- The local bookstore he or she frequents
A gift card is more than just a token of appreciation. It can give leaders the opportunity to splurge a little without having to find room for it in the budget. They may relish the chance to have a night out with their friends, partners or family, or perhaps they'll delight in picking up that new fiction series they have been wanting to read. The best gifts you can give them may be the ones they already have in mind.
A pastor who is fond of gadgets is always going to be easy to shop for. Even leaders who don't consider themselves tech-savvy, however, may love a gift that makes their lives easier. Noise-canceling headphones are fantastic when they need to focus on a task without distraction. Multiple replacement chargers that they can keep in various places or a portable charger can be handy for days when they are out of the office making visits or attending meetings. A portable hard drive is an efficient way to ensure that they always have all the notes they need when going from one meeting to the next. Any tool that makes staff members' lives easier is likely to be a welcome gift.
Many spiritual leaders contribute regularly to newsletters or other publications. Some have aspirations to write books. If nothing else, they probably deliver a sermon or give other presentations frequently. Anything that helps them keep their work more organized is a good gift. Both Scrivener and Scapple are specifically designed with the needs of authors in mind. You can even choose something low-tech. After all, a writer can never have too many blank notebooks or nice pens.
Coffee may fuel your pastor's life. Tea may be the way your church secretary stays focused. If you know staff members' beverage preferences, you have insight into the kind of gift they may enjoy. A nice travel mug is useful for keeping their morning brew warm on the trek to the office. A French press or selection of gourmet teas can take their daily ritual to the next level. When you take the time to care for their basic needs, you send the message that you notice the things that are important to them.
Subscriptions have come a long way from the proverbial jelly-of-the-month club. If there is a hobby or specialty item that people enjoy, there is probably a subscription service that caters to it. Avid readers may like a Libro.fm or Tailored Book Recommendations membership. If fair trade is a cause near and dear to their hearts, there are many subscription boxes that feature products that are ethically sourced. Because most subscriptions deliver throughout the year, they're the gifts that keep on giving.
Gifts are an easy way to show your church leaders that you love them and appreciate all that they do for your faith community. Finding the right gifts for them can be much easier than you think.