December 20, 2011

Receiving Gifts from the Church?

After years in the ministry, I still have mixed feelings about this. While no one is in ministry to get rich or to find earthly reward, still, a token of remembrance at Christmas shouldn't be too much to ask for. Or am I wrong on this?

Currently, we are in a loving and generous Church. And we do receive gifts from some church members individually, but there is no gift from the Church as a whole. This surprises me because the choir regularly collects money for a gift for the choir director and organist, and I'm for that too. It just seems odd to me that the Church doesn't take the opportunity to say thank-you to the pastor.

Of the churches we have served, there have only been one or two that gave the pastor a Christmas gift. One was a small, loving congregation who gave generously; the other was not as kind and gave only because they thought it was their duty--that was my read anyway.

My spouse has no problem with not getting a gift from the Church. I confess that it's just me. Part of my feeling stems from the fact that the companies I've worked for always do something. So I don't understand why the Church does not.

And I guess it makes me angry to know how much my spouse does and at what expense in terms of time, commitment, physical endurance, and yes, money, without the Church acknowledging his many gifts to them throughout the year. It seems to me that too often the Church acts like spoiled children who believe they are entitled to all that the pastor does.



  1. I'm praying that my comment will reflect God's love. Mike Slaughter has written a book...Christmas Is Not Your Birthday....that helps put the emphasis not on receiving but on giving. I wonder what would happen in the church if ministers and their families suggested to others that gifts be given in their name to a special project? This year each person in our family choose a charity. Monetary gifts are being given to that charity by others. It was interesting to see how the children went about choosing their charity and the thought and prayer that accompanied that decision. Next Christmas we can share our experience and hopefully model to others a change in their thoughts from receiving to giving at the time of celebrating Jesus birth.

  2. I agree with you Kathy. It's nice to be appreciated by those you work for. Yes, ministers do get perks occasionaly from individuals, but monetary gifts always help with parsonage families who suffer financially.Anonymous

  3. I agree with you Kathy. I have found that small churches are very generous and thoughtful, remembering the pastor, and usually family members ie spouse and children at Christmas. I appreciate their generosity so much. However I found that as my husband served larger and larger churches, the church did not give the pastor or anyone on the staff
    a gift. A few yars ago, my husband decided to giver person on the staff a $25.00 gift card to Target.from our own personal finances. There were several single parents on staff, and a few with financial difficulties. We were delighted to provide for these persons - I was distressed when I discovered that the church did not provide the staff with a gift.