Words of encouragement for pastor anniversary

It’s not hard to imagine why, at times, life might become overwhelming for a pastor’s wife. Her role is challenging and multi-faceted. Sometimes, pastor’s wives are also mothers, which means they have to manage their children while still being supportive of their husband’s ministry and understanding of all its demands. Sometimes, they have a full time career outside the church. Sometimes they have ministerial obligations of their own. It’s important to remember that no matter what responsibilities they have outside the church, supporting their husband’s ministry is a weighty and time-consuming obligation. That’s one of the reasons why words of encouragement for pastor’s wife are so important.

Personalized Pastor & Wife Gift Plaques

Nothing says words of encouragement like a hand written note of thanks or a crystal plaque engraved with words of encouragement. Nourish her soul with a sweet letter, expressing your understanding for her challenging role as a pastor’s wife. Encourage her to lean on you if she needs a friend, and lean on prayer if she needs wisdom and guidance.

Give her strength

Sometimes, a pastor’s wife might need to hear something profound, words of encouragement to motivate her, keep her moving forward spiritually and emotionally. Lois Evans runs a pastor’s wife ministry and publishes blogs and essays as well as releases videos pertaining to various topics. Here’s an excerpt from a piece on her site about encouragement.

Encouragement comes with the planting, because we know and believe that the harvest is coming soon. As women of faith, we join with one another for the planting of hope, the watering of faith, and the growth that comes with sharing the gift of ministry with each other. We are here to encourage women to gather side by side, in unity of economy, race, and creed, to corporately encourage the body of pastors’ wives to be better women, mothers, wives, and Christians.

There are many other blogs featured on this ministry site that directly address encouragement. If you know a pastor’s wife who could use a little rallying spirit, point her in that direction.

Encouragement through Scripture

At the end of the day, the bible is the rock to which all pastor’s wives return when they need to be moved by words of encouragement. Many verses found in both the Old Testament and New Testament can be found to inspire pastor’s wives.

Great Commission Churches put together an interview with four pastor’s wives to find out what verses were most inspirational to them. Here are a few words of encouragement that resonated with them.

“And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what had been spoken to her by the Lord.” Luke 1:45

“The nearness of the Lord is my good.” Psalm 73: 28 NASB

“O Lord, you have searched me and you know me.” Pod psalm 139:1

Pastors’ wives can find words of encouragement in a lot of places, but scripture is always a good place to start.

words of encouragement for pastor anniversary

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words of encouragement for pastor anniversary

I love pastors. Through this blog and my personal ministry, God has allowed me to partner with dozens of pastors, helping them think through life and ministry issues. I’ve learned many pastors struggle to find people who will invest in them and help them grow as individuals, leaders and pastors. In my current job with Leadership Lexington, I get to spend my days thinking of how to assist pastors and the Church.

I frequently have pastors – or other leaders – ask me for my “best advice” for those in leadership positions. I have to be candid that it’s a difficult request. I’ve learned so much through the pastors who have invested in me and by experience. It’s hard to summarize all I’ve learned over the years – especially by trial and error. It could probably fill a book or two, but certainly more than one blog post!

Over the years I have put some thought into the question and come up with a lists of random encouragement I would give to all pastors or leaders to answer the question. While addressing pastors, I know wisdom is transferable to other fields. Change a few words and I’d give this advice to any leader. Periodically, I update this post and bring it forward again.

12 words of encouragement for pastors:

Keep Jesus the center of focus in the church.

You’ll never have a money problem, a people problem, or a growth problem God can’t handle. You know that. You’d teach that to the people you’ve been called to shepherd, but life (and the enemy) has a way of stealing our devotion. You’ll have lots of doubts, lots of seasons of ups and downs, and lots of dry spells in your own walk with Christ, but when Jesus is the center of your ministry – when your greatest success is found in your obedience to Him, you’ll always be successful in ministry regardless of what the numbers say.

Choose your friends wisely, but make sure you choose friends.

Don’t attempt to lead alone. Too many pastors avoid close friendships because they’ve been hurt. They trusted someone with information who used it against them. Finding friends you can trust and be real with means you’ll sometimes get injured, but the reward is worth it. And, it’s cliche, but to find a friend – be a friend. Make sure you have a few friends who you can turn to on the darker days. They will come.

The church can never love your family as much as you do.

Your family needs you more than the church does. They can get another pastor. Your family doesn’t want another you. You’ll have to learn to say “no”, learn how to balance and prioritize your time, and be willing to delegate to others in the church. I’ve blogged several times on the power of saying no. It may be harder in the role of pastor than any other role I’ve held in business, government and the church, but it’s a necessary word to remain healthy and effective as a leader.

If you protect your Sabbath, your Sabbath can better protect you.

You’ll wear out quickly without a day a week to rejuvenate. God designed us this way. Take advantage of His provision. Take time to rest. You may not rest like everyone else. For me rest doesn’t always mean doing nothing. It usually means I’m doing what I want to do, but can’t because I’m working. Bottom line is you regularly need time away from the demands of ministry. Lead your church to understand you can’t be everywhere every time. You owe it to yourself, your family, your church and your God.

You have influence – use it well.

The pastorate comes with tremendous responsibility. Your words are powerful. It’s easy to abuse or take for granted. Don’t do it! Humility welcomes the hand of God on your ministry. Use your influence for Kingdom good more than for personal gain.

No amount of accountability or structure can stop failure if a heart is impure.

“Above all else, guard your heart.” (Proverbs 4:23) Avoid any hint of temptation. Look for the warning signs your heart is drifting. Allow others the freedom to speak into the dark places of your life, but, more than anything, keep your heart saturated with God’s Word and in prayer.

Let God lead.

If you can dream it, God can dream it bigger. Don’t dismiss the seemingly ridiculous things God calls you to do. They won’t always make sense to others or meet their immediate approval, but God’s ways will prove best every time. When you ever stop being encouraged towards the seemingly impossible you may need to question whether you’re still walking by faith.

So let God take the lead. You can do some things well. God can do the impossible. Whom do you think should ultimately be leading the church? You’ll be surprised how much more effective your leadership will be when it’s according to His will and not yours. This will take discipline, humility, and practice.

Your personal health affects the health of the church.

Take care of yourself relationally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. This, too, requires discipline, balance and prioritizing, but if, to the best of your ability, you strive to be healthy in every area of your life, as a good shepherd, your people will be more likely to follow your example.

The people in your church deserve authenticity.

As a leader, you set the bar of expectations, so your authentic actions encourage people to be transparent with you and others. When you’re authentic you help eliminate unrealistic expectations people may place upon you. Don’t be someone you’re not. Be someone worthy to follow, but make sure you’re living it – not just teaching it.

Learn to think before you speak.

This sounds so simple, but it is a hard lesson for some pastors. We are asked so many questions and to weigh in on so many topics. It’s easy to always have the answer. The best answers usually come after we’ve taken time to analyze Scripture, listen for the voice of God, and seek the wise counsel of others. It’s much harder to take back words said in haste than to discipline ourselves to think through a response. Telling someone, “Wait, let me get back to you on that” is a good phrase to have in your vocabulary.

You’ll never make everyone happy.

Part of leadership is making decisions. With every decision comes different opinions of the decision you made. If your goal is to make people happy you’ll end up being very unhappy – and very unproductive. Everyone will suffer as you strive to be popular, but flounder in effectiveness. Don’t make it your goal to make people happy. Make it your goal to lead people to greater obedience. Find your satisfaction in God’s glory.

People only know what they know.

One of the biggest mistakes I’ve made (and make) in leadership is assuming everyone will be on the same page as me – or they understand what I’m trying to communicate. This is unfair to people who don’t have the vantage point I have or who don’t even view the world as I view it. The more I grow as a leader the more I realize one of my greatest needs is more and better communication.

What word of encouragement do you have for pastors (or other leaders)?


As that special milestone approaches, the day of the long-awaited pastor anniversary, it’s a good time to reflect on the selfless service of the man or woman leading your congregation. Deciding on the job of pastor, pledging to lead a church despite all the demands of individual congregants is beyond noble. There’s something so pure about choosing a life of faith, which is why you shouldn’t just rush through deciding on your sample pastoral appreciation message.

Choosing a pastoral anniversary thank you message should be a thoughtful and heartfelt process: that’s where we come in.

To get you started, we’ve compiled everything from sample bible verses for pastor anniversary gifts to sample scriptures for pastoral anniversary celebrations. If you choose a high-quality remembrance like crystal, consider inscribing one of our sample pastor golden anniversary bible verses. That’s the kind of message that will stand the test of time. And don’t forget about sample pastor and wife anniversary gift wording ideas! She’s part of the team and provides vital support and spiritual energy. Wishing her a happy pastor anniversary is a very important part of the celebration.

Sample Words of Encouragement for Pastor Anniversary

To A Very Special Pator

1 Year in Ministry Anniversary


We remember before our God and Father
Your work produced by faith,
your labor prompted by love,
and your endurance inspired by hope
in our Lord Jesus Christ.


Sample Bible Verse for Pastor Anniversary Gift

Celebrating 5th Ordination Anniversary

To A Very Special Pastor

May the words of my mouth and
the  meditations of our hearts
be acceptable in your sight, 
O LORD our strength and our Redeemer.
Bible Verse -Psalm 19:14

Thank You!

With grateful appreciation
for your many years of devoted service to
the congregation at Bethel Church of Christ.

Sample Pastoral Anniversary Thank You Message

To Our Beloved Pastor

With our greatest appreciation &
in recognition of your dedication,
faithfulness & compassion while
shepherding God’s flock at the
Sugar Grove Methodist Church.

Thank you for believing in our mission, 
offering invaluable leadership
and fanning the flame of so many.

We Love You!

Happy 10th Pastoral Anniversary

Sample Pastor Anniversary Words of Appreciation

In Honor Of Our Devoted Reverend

In Recognition Of 25 memorable years
as Pastor, Teacher, and Friend

We thank you for teaching us:
To be who God wants us to be;
To accept others as God accepts us;
That Christianity is about
“being” and not just “doing.”

We thank you for sharing with us:
Your deep Biblical understanding;
Your life, family, time, and talents.

Your legacy will live on in the
many lives you have touched.

With affection and gratitude
from your church family
Georgetown Baptist Church

We congratulate you on your anniversary
and pray that God will continue to bless you
and Jane as you enter this new chapter in your life.

Joshua 24:15 
“…But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”

Sample Pastoral Anniversary Appreciation Message

In Honor Of A Very Special Priest

Once in a while, there comes
someone very special like you…
who not only serves the church
and its people faithfully,
but who makes of their own life
a living testimony of Christ’s love.

Thank you for your many years
of devoted and caring ministry.
Happy 40th Anniversary!

1 Timothy 1:12
I am grateful to Christ Jesus our Lord,
who has strengthened me, 
…and appointed me to his service.

God Bless You on 40 Years of Priesthood

Sample Pastor Golden Anniversary Bible Verse

50th Pastoral Anniversary

To Our Beloved Pastor

With heartfelt thanks, 
we honor you today, for your 
faithful and dedicated service 
to Our Savior and mission.

Let nothing move you
Yourselves fully to the
Because you know that
Your labor in the Lord
1 Corinthians 15:58

Sample Pastor and Wife Anniversary Gift Wording Ideas

To Our Pastor and His Wife
In Recognition of Many Years
of Dedicated and Faithful Service

To Our Pastor

We thank you for your ministry, 
your guidance and your care.  
His greatest blessings for your life 
is our most humble prayer.

To Our Pastor’s Wife

When we thank God for our pastor 
we must give Him thanks for two. 
For when your husband came to us, 
God also sent us you. 

“Take heed therefore unto yourselves,
and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost
hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God,
which he hath purchased with his own blood.”
Acts 20:28

With Gratitude From Church Special Events Committee


Do you like being appreciated for what you do? Most people do, and it is most significant when accompanied by words of affirmation and gratitude for a job well done. Parents, teachers, employees—everyone deserves some kudos for their efforts and job performance. Spiritual leaders and pastors likewise deserve our encouragement and support, so here are my top 7 Bible verses to show appreciation for a pastor.

Numbers 6:24-26 “The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.” 

This is the first verse that came to mind when thinking about how to bless my pastor and show him my appreciation for all that he does for the church. Pastors and shepherds work tirelessly on behalf of their flocks, and it is imperative that we speak and pray blessings over them. These verses in Numbers are part of an Aaronic blessing that Moses’ brother, Aaron, spoke over the Israelites, and it is very appropriate for our spiritual leaders as well. They are priests, and they deserve to be blessed by the Lord and to receive his peace.

Deuteronomy 28:2 “And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, if you obey the voice of the Lord your God.” 

Pastors sacrifice a great deal on behalf of the sheep, and another way to show them appreciation is to remind them of the amazing blessings that God has in store for them. I love what it says here, because it explains that God’s goodness will overtake them if they obey his voice. True obedience to God will ensure that future blessings will come upon them and even go ahead of them.

Deuteronomy 30:16 “If you obey the commandments of the Lord your God that I command you today, by loving the Lord your God, by walking in his ways, and by keeping his commandments and his statutes and his rules, then you shall live and multiply, and the Lord your God will bless you in the land that you are entering to take possession of it.” 

Shepherds and spiritual leaders are about doing their Father’s business. They combine all the talents that God has given them to build up, encourage, mentor, disciple, and mature other followers of Christ. Oftentimes, that leads them to sacrifice so much that they neglect their own well-being. Pastors try so hard to love God and obey his commands, rules and statutes that they forget about the rewards the Lord has promised to give them. It is up to us then to remind them of how valuable they are to the Kingdom of God and what they have to look forward to one day in heaven as well.

Jeremiah 3:15 “And I will give you shepherds after my own heart, who will feed you with knowledge and understanding.” 

Everyone questions their calling on occasion, especially when they are going through rough times. Pastors likewise might doubt whether they are hearing from the Lord about their life’s work, so this passage is a perfect way to encourage your spiritual leader. Remind them that it is the Lord that has raised them up to feed the flock with knowledge and understanding. He has also seen their hearts, and recognized himself in them. God has appointed them as pastors, because they are shepherds after his own heart.

Esther 4:14 “For if you keep silent at this time, relief and deliverance will rise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” 

Another way to encourage pastors in their day to day life, is to remind them that they have been called by God for such a time as this. Even when things are tough and hardships abound in the church or among the flock, the Lord wants pastors to know that they are an important part of his plan for the body of Christ. Like Queen Esther, pastors are called for a certain time and place of ministry, because God knows their hearts and love for him.

Jeremiah 33:3 “Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known.” 

Spiritual leaders from every church want to have a close relationship with God, and this is a perfect verse to use to encourage them in their search through God’s word. It is so affirming to know that as pastors call to the Lord in prayer, and as they read and study his word that he will answer them. And not only will he respond to them, but he will also show them great and marvelous things. These truths can then be shared with the body of Christ.

Matthew 6:33 “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” 

words of encouragement for pastor anniversary

My final verse to encourage pastors is this one found in the book of Matthew. Everyone gets discouraged and might even question their calling, but this verse is a wonderful reminder that if we seek the kingdom of God first and his righteousness, then all the other questions and things we need will be given to us as well. God’s blessing will surpass even our greatest expectations if we put him first in our hearts and in our lives.


Encouraging and supporting one another is a valuable part of our Christian walk. How much more important is it then to affirm and bless our pastors and spiritual leaders with words, verses, and acts of appreciation? I believe that this is something that should never be neglected, and I recommend making it a priority even today. Go and encourage your pastor right now!!  

Written by Karla Hawkins

God has been good to me over the years, and I have much for which to be grateful to Him. First of all, I feel blessed to be the pastor’s wife of a thriving church in northern Michigan and the mother of four amazing grown children. It is also very rewarding to be a Christian author, editor and translator for the Kingdom of God. Some of my favorite pastimes include supporting my children’s contemporary Christian band ONLY9AM, singing on the worship team at church.


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