‘Pound the Preacher’ sounds a bit violent. But it is so much fun! When I talk about pound the preacher I’m referring to a creative way to honor your church leader during pastor appreciation month.
Disclaimer: If you are not attending a faith community with a leader you can ‘pound’ don’t run off! ‘Pounding’ is a fun way to show appreciation to anyone special in your life. It’s even fun to do as a bridal shower!
You may or may not be aware that October is pastor appreciation month. Pastor appreciation day is officially celebrated on the second Sunday of October.
“In Timothy 1 (5:17) , Paul began the concept of clergy appreciation when he stated that the elders of the church are worthy of a double honor. He reiterated this idea in Thessalonians 1 (5: 12-13) when he stated that that those who work hard among you should be held in the highest regard for their work.” (Source.)
It’s a good thing that pastor’s are honored the whole month because it takes our church that long to organize any gift or little party!
Not that pastors should be ignored the rest of the year! October is just a special time set aside to specifically acknowledge all the hard work they put in shepherding the flock.
What is Pound the Preacher?
Pound the preacher is simply a fun way for the congregation to gift a bunch of random stuff to the preacher. As the name suggests, pounds of something.
‘Pounding’ is fun any time of year, but we usually do it during pastor appreciation month.
Also, check out Quiet Church Activities for Toddlers for your pastor’s kids…or your own!
Where did Pound the Preacher come from?
In the 1800s many preachers were poor rural folk who didn’t have great degrees and didn’t get paid a great salary – if any salary at all.
To help with the preacher’s living, several times a year the congregation would perform a pounding. Especially if the preacher rode the circuit, he wasn’t home enough to care for animals to raise for food. Or take care of chickens for eggs. And in those days it was much more affordable to raise your own food than buy it.
Families of the church would surprise the preacher and show up with pounds of flour, sugar, butter, meat, firewood and whatever else they could spare. If the preacher did have animals, men would bring pounds of grain and hay as well for feed.
One real-story account of this is in the book Caddie Woodlawn: a childhood favorite of mine.
Is Pounding the Preacher still relevant?
Today, many preachers receive a full-time salary from their congregation. They can easily provide a comfortable living for themselves and/or their family without worrying about firewood and meat.
However, our little rural church cannot afford to pay a full-time salary to our preacher. He works a full-time job on top of his preaching duties. Our preacher gets a small salary from the church, but I’m sure it’s not much when it comes to supporting his family of eight.
So when we pound the preacher for pastor appreciation month it
is usually food items.
Grab some more great gift ideas from my list of Consumable Homemade Gifts.
Pound the Preacher as a Gag
If you prefer a different twist on ‘pound the preacher’ make it more of a practical joke (depending on your preacher’s personality). In this case the sky is the limit!
Artisan Pound the Preacher
Do you have a lot of craftsmen and women, artisans or DIYers in your congregation? Maybe you know of someone outside the church you can buy a handcrafted product from.
You can pound the preacher with hand crafted:
- Beard oil
- Goat cheese
- Maple syrup
Just include a little note or business card from where you got the items. This makes the pounding unique and you can support local artisans at the same time!
Other People You Can Pound
A preacher isn’t the only one you can pound!
A ‘pounding’ is a fun way to bless a family who has just moved to your area. Organize your friends and neighbors and have them drop pounds of useful things at the family’s door between set hours on a Saturday morning.
In the case of a just-moved-in-family, make sure that the invite states it’s not a party. You don’t want people expecting to be invited inside while the family is still so new and possibly unpacking.
This is also a great alternative to meals. With a new family, you don’t know food allergies, refrigerator/freezer situations and other preferences. Blessing them with pounds of non-perishables can lessen the refrigerator load.
Are you looking for a creative bridal shower for someone in your life? Planning a shower for a bride-to-be who has everything? Try a ‘pounding!’ This would be similar to a pantry shower if you specify so on the invite.
If the bride will be moving a great distance after her wedding this type of shower should be limited to non-perishables.
Because this is a light-hearted party, encourage guests to be creative with their gifts. Switch labels on canned goods. Make your own funny labels for food items. Stick notes of marriage advice inside boxes. You get the hint! 😉
Sick or Housebound
Remembering those who can’t get out often is fun, too. Keep in mind though that you want this ‘pounding’ to be a blessing and not much work for the recipient or the care givers. Unless you know the recipient very well, keep gag gifts to a minimum.
Call ahead to the care giver or recipient and see what would be appreciated. Specify those things on the invitations.
October Pastor Appreciation Month
There are many ways to honor your pastor throughout the year. But during October pastor appreciation month, find a way to make your pastor feel extra special.
Organizing a fun ‘pounding’ for your pastor is just one small way you can recognize him during pastor appreciation month.