"Eighty per cent of pastors' wives feel left out and unappreciated by the church members," says Lois Evans, a best-selling author, speaker and pastor's wife. Honour the role of the first lady of the church by carefully selecting a theme and activities that match her interests and responsibilities. Consider her personality, hobbies or vocation outside the church as well. Invite members of her family and the congregation to participate. This will ensure that the tribute will be a memorable occasion for all.
Scrapbook of Gratitude
Ask all members of the congregation to contribute a letter, poem, song lyrics, memory or photo to a scrapbook. Ask the pastor to add a handwritten tribute to the first lady on the inside front cover and tuck in a gift token to her favourite spa, restaurant or bookstore. Present the scrapbook with a bouquet of flowers and read a few of the sentiments aloud to the congregation.
Gather a collection of her favourite songs. If possible, obtain the sheet music and lyrics and provide them to the church's music director. The choir or congregation can perform a concert for the first lady. After the concert, present her with a CD or an iPod loaded with the selections. Create a montage of photos with the musical background sung by the church choir. Put it on a DVD and offer it as a gift to the first lady, or sell it as a charity fund raiser in her name.
Women of the Bible
Research the legendary women of the Bible and identify some of their attributes that match those of the first lady. For example, look to Deborah for leadership, Esther for destiny and selflessness, and Hannah for consecration and prayer. Dramatise their stories for the congregation and point out how the first lady exemplifies these characteristics. Offer tickets to a theatre or concert outing with other church women so they can enjoy some leisure time together.
Fruit of the Spirit
Ask a member of the congregation to choose one fruit of the Spirit as described in Galatians Chapter 5, such as gentleness, love or joy. The member can describe how the first lady models that characteristic and how this has affected his life. Present the first lady with a beautiful gourmet fruit basket along with a Bible. Make the gift extra-special by including gift cards for "date night" entertainment that will allow her to spend time with her husband, such as dinner and a movie. Create coupons offering to take care of errands or tasks such as grocery shopping or picking up the children from school so she will have time to relax.