The lyricism and beauty of poetry makes it an ideal choice when used to honor retirement. Many poems with a religious focus have been written to honor pastors. has a selection that would work very well for pastor retirement. The example below is a piece by Judy Crowe:

For all the times you walked with me
And gently held my hand,
The times you stopped to answer why,
To help me learn and understand.
Each time I fall or stumble, you
Reach out to me and lift me up to stand.
You are there in good times,
Even though I forget to thank you.
You are there in bad times,
To pick me up and see me through.
Thank you Pastor for being there
To make each day brand new.

The poem you choose doesn't have to be religious in focus. You can choose any piece of poetry that honors leadership, guidance or the institution of retirement. This excerpt from a poem by Juanita Farrar called “Varied Visions of Retirement” might fit the bill perfectly.

RETIREMENT: An acquired belief that failure is impossible.
Investments made early-on, makes dividends more profitable.
Beneath it all, the pride of your labors will show.
Like a harvest moon or a brightly colored rainbow.

RETIREMENT: An emotional calmness, filled with tranquility.
Extraordinary comforts - turn dreams into reality...
Holding this thought: Retirement is not a career ending...
New attractions, plus foresight - makes it a career beginning.

RETIREMENT: An intriguingly different lifestyle.
Imagine vividly your ego at peace for a while.
Without sacrifice your future has become a reality.
Custom designed and made valid by your own success.

Read the full piece online at Poem Hunter.

Finally, if your soul feels stirred, remember, you can always write an original piece. If you have a knack for rhyming, consider couplets. If you’d rather explore free verse go ahead and do so. Children can get in on the fun too with simple acrostics. Consider the example below:

Positive and kind
Astute and enlightened
Sweet and patient
Thorough and detailed
Owns his vision
Respects other views

Righteous and humble
Exciting and fun
I’ll miss him
Day in and day out

Best of luck with your retirement Pastor Reid, we’ll be praying for you!

This is a simple way for children and young teenagers to express their view on pastor retirement. Younger kids can make an art project out of it and older kids can write it in a card.