Elders and Deacons have a special relationship with their head pastor. They collaborate, trust each other even rely on each other for counsel. So while the church should definitely play a part in pastor retirement celebrations, Elders and Deacons should have some special gestures planned for the more intimate group.
The simplest way to honor a retiring pastor is to put pen to paper. Each Elder and Deacon should write a note, poem, essay or verse analysis dedicated to their retiring pastor. One person can then collect the writings and put them all in a vintage suitcase or engraved wooden box and present the whole collection as a parting gift. This wooden suitcase by Décor Universe would make a lovely vessel.
It almost goes without saying that the head Elder or Deacon should probably make a speech about the retiring pastor. If you’d rather not choose one, single representative, you can elect an “open mic” format instead where everyone is welcome to say a few words in honor of pastor.
Finally, it is a nice gesture to leave a lasting memento of the pastor’s tenure behind; something he or she can always return to. It can be more symbolic, like naming a small chapel or prayer room after your retiring pastor, and investing in a metal plaque that announces the name change, or you can do something a little more elaborate. Engrave some bricks on the church walkway or erect a stone bench in the church garden. If your pastor spent a long time with your church specifically, this sort of tribute will mean the most.