In the several months since I started this blog I have had quite a number of visits from people doing a Google search for “Retired Pastor.” Many of them are looking for things to say at a retirement for their pastor, a farewell sermon or a prayer. Instead they have found things like long treatises on eschatology, rants about the Red Sox, and borscht recipes.
Never being one to want to disappoint I decided to write a prayer for a retired pastor. I may be retired, but I can still write a prayer. So here it is. I started out writing a rather generic one with (name) and (his/her), but it came out eerily disembodied. So I fell back on an ancient practice, and called my retiring pastor Theophilus, the addressee of Luke’s Gospel and the Book of Acts, a name that translates from the Greek roughly as “friend of God,” or “beloved of God.” Since I never knew Theophilus I just wrote the kind of things that I would have liked to have been prayed when I retired, so in a sense this prayer is, at least partly, for myself.
Prayer for a Retired Pastor
Almighty and ever-living Father, before whose face the generations rise and fall, we give you thanks and praise for all the blessings of this day, and for all the ways, in season and out of season, that you provide for us.
In this season, on this day, we invoke your Holy presence upon this congregation as it gathers in memory and hope to thank and bless this, your servant, Theophilus, at the conclusion of his active ministry.
We give you thanks for those early promptings of your gentle Spirit that stirred his heart to consider this holy calling. As “young men shall see visions and old men shall dream dreams,” we praise you for the persistent vision that led him through long years of service as a minister of your Word.
We thank you for bestowing the necessary graces upon him for carrying out the work to which you called him. Through trials and temptations your eternal presence strengthened and comforted him. In the dry seasons you provided him with living waters to restore his soul. Your unseen hand supported him with the courage needed for the struggles to make real the love of Jesus Christ by word and deed. In the face of disappointments you surprised him again and again with unexpected joy.
Lord God, without whose daily grace none could stand, we earnestly entreat you now to forgive Theophilus all his shortcomings and failures in your service, and to endow him with a calm mind and a peaceful heart as he concludes his days of active service. Remind him that your ways are not our ways, and your thoughts are not our thoughts, and that the seeds he sowed and planted and watered during his ministry often only bear fruit in your good time, unseen and unknown except by you.
Our times are in your hands, O God. Bless Theophilus now in this new season of his life and this new chapter in his calling, that his remaining years may be full and fruitful, and assure him of his place, by your grace, among the great cloud of witnesses, living and dead, who have witnessed to your truth and lived out your love. And when his days come to an end grant him the gift of peace and the assurance of everlasting life, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
When it comes to expressing your heartfelt thanks and wishing your pastor a happy retirement, there’s nothing like the written word. Pastor retirement congratulations message ideas, a line or two of pastor retirement scriptures or poems, or a simple, heartfelt message, you can choose whatever moves you and best suits .
The examples below would be perfect farewell messages to send blessing for a retiring pastor who has given their careers in service to God. You could also pen these pastor retirement messages, quotes, scriptures and notes in a card to go with a gift, or even engrave in a beautiful Pastor Retirement Plaque to wish your retiring pastor all the best starting new chapter of the life.
Is there an occasion more momentous than the day a pastor hangs up his robes, and puts his sermon notes in the back of the desk? Retirement is so joyous and final, so bittersweet and poignant. It’s truly a life of service that pastors undertake, and for that reason, brainstorming sample minister retirement wishes and prayers can be daunting. But while you may feel overwhelmed by the task at hand, don’t run from it! Embrace penning that sample farewell message for retiring minister; it may well be one of the most important passages you ever write.
Don’t worry about getting started; we’ve compiled many sample words of appreciation for retiring pastor so that you can browse through a multitude of options. Have you considered turning to the bible for inspiration? If so, peruse our sample minister retirement wishes and scriptures. Whether you look to the Good Book or decide to leaf through pastor retirement quotes, your words of thanks will look lovely on a crystal remembrance or plaque. And don’t forget about your pastor’s better half; farewell wishes to retiring pastor and first lady would also make beautiful inscriptions!
- 1 Sample Pastoral Retirement Congratulation Messages
- 2 Sample Pastor Retirement Quotes and Scriptures
- 3 Farewell Wishes to Retiring Pastor and First Lady
- 4 Sample Minister Retirement Wishes and Scriptures
- 5 Samples Words of Appreciation for Retiring Pastor
- 6 Sample Minister Retirement Wishes and Prayers
- 7 Sample Farewell Message for Retiring Minister
Sample Pastoral Retirement Congratulation Messages
To Our Beloved Retiring Pastor and Wife
You have served the Lord with gladness here
for 50 years – tirelessly, faithfully,
and with great compassion for His flock.
Your investment in the lives of others
has truly made a difference; you have given
hope and encouragement to so many.
We congratulate you on this milestone, and
pray that God will continue to bless both of you
as you enter this new chapter in your lives.
With Great Affection and Gratitude
Your Church Family
Sample Pastor Retirement Quotes and Scriptures
It’s a high calling, one sheep
being designated to lead the others.
But you’ve always shown that
your master is the Shepherd and
your job is to follow Him
wherever He leads the flock.
Thank you for blessing our church
with humble leadership, priestly ministry,
and a deep love of the Lord.
You have blessed us in so many ways.
Well done, good and faithful servant…
Enter into the joy of your lord.
Farewell Wishes to Retiring Pastor and First Lady
To Our Retiring Pastor & First Lady
“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden,
and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you,
and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly
in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”
~ Matthew 11:28-29
For your devotion, dedication and hard work,
both of you deserve the best retirement ever.
Enjoy this new journey of your lives.
Cherish every moment and have fun!
The vacancy you’ll leave behind may be filled in,
the position you had may be held by others,
but in our hearts, you’re simply irreplaceable.
We’re going to miss you!
With God’s Blessings,
Best Wishes on Your Retirement
Sample Minister Retirement Wishes and Scriptures
In Honor of Our Beloved Pastor
You have remained constant in your pursuit of God
and to honor Him in all you do and in what He has
entrusted to you. Seeing you walk out the call of God
on your life with such conviction has taught us
so much, and your spirit of excellence is inspiring.
May God bless you with an excellent health and
enrich your retirement life with happiness
and proud in your future endeavors.
His Lord said unto him, well done,
thou good and faithful servant:
thou hast been faithful over a few things
… enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.”
Bible Scripture – Matthew 25:21
Samples Words of Appreciation for Retiring Pastor
To Our Beloved Pastor
for your faithful service,
time and time again…
for visits of compassion
every time a need arises.
for your tireless dedication,
the difference you make,
and all the love you’ve shown
that we can never repay.
Thank you most of all
for listening to the Father’s heart,
and for being the kind of leader
who points us to the Lord.
With Sincere Gratitude
May the Lord Bless You and Keep You Always!
Sample Minister Retirement Wishes and Prayers
God Bless You
To Our Beloved Pastor
Thank you for blessing our church with
humble leadership, heartfelt ministry, and
a deep love of the Lord. Thank you
for the difference you’ve made in the lives
of so many as Pastor, Teacher and Friend.
Happy 52nd Pastoral Anniversary & Retirement!
This is the day that the LORD has made;
let us rejoice and be glad in it.
Sample Farewell Message for Retiring Minister
To Our Dear Retiring Spiritual Leader
You have served the Lord with gladness –
tirelessly, faithfully, and with great compassion
for His flock. Your investment in the lives of
others has truly made a difference; You have
given hope and encouragement to so many.
Now, as the day dawns on the next chapter
in your life, may God continue to richly bless you
and watch over you, may the God of peace
grant you peace now and always.
With Great Affection and Gratitude
From Your Hillside Church Family
“Behold, I will do something new,
Now it will spring forth…”