How do you say thank you to pastors who work hard leading church congregations? Take them bowling, of course.

That was the idea behind Twin Cities Christian radio station KKMS' inaugural Pins for Pastors bowling tournament on Monday at the Brunswick Zone in Brooklyn Park.

The Eagan-based station hosted 70 pastors throughout the Twin Cities area for three games of bowling and a buffet lunch, handing out close to 10 prizes and medals to participants.

"We just try to show them a good time, so they can get out and socialize," said Zech Hipp, one of the station's organizers of the event. "They just have so much going on throughout the year."

Besides the bowling event, the station will host its 5th Annual Pastors Appreciation Lunch on April 3, featuring evangelical Christian author David Jeremiah as keynote speaker. The event will be at the North Heights Event Center in Arden Hills.

The station is also planning its 3rd annual Pastors Masters golf tournament sometime in mid-September, with the location to be announced later.

Nic Anderson, general manager at KKMS, says the station believes it's important to show pastors that they're appreciated in the community for the long hours and hard work they put in to leading their congregations.

Twin Cities pastors and their churches are also key sponsors that support the station, with pastors participating in some on-air programming.

Anderson said the events offer ways for pastors to connect with one another.

He said the station will "touch somewhere between 500-700 pastors this year with our appreciation events. ... I can honestly say that our pastor events are my favorite times of the year."

"We have a chance to celebrate the pastors of the church," he said. "Pastors live their lives in a fishbowl for all to see. If we can thank them a few times a year to show them our gratitude for what they do, it's the least we can do."

Rose French • 612-673-4352