It’s that time of year. Throughout Fall, we see signs that proclaim gratefulness and the tone of social media becomes more positive. People speak about what makes them thankful. They post pictures, and use words, to show their gratefulness. As we celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday, let’s not forget those who share our tasks, teach our children and youth, and give their time and energy to our churches. Let’s take a few moments to thank our volunteers. Here are ten creative (and easy) ways to say thank you.
- Brag on them. Just as grandparents tell their friends how wonderful and talented their grandkids are, do the same for your volunteers. Brag in writing, to their family members, and in public settings. A little bragging goes a long way.
- Give them treats. Find out what they like and surprise them. In Texas, Sonic is a big deal, and bringing someone his/her favorite Sonic soda, tea, or slush can mean the world to him/her. Candy, coffee, and other small treats offer an inexpensive, yet thoughtful, way to say thank you.
- Leave a little note. Write a short note thanking volunteers for what they do. Be specific. Say things like this: I love how you make Bible stories come alive. Having you on our team brings us up a notch. Thanks for attention to detail.
- Set up a coffee bar, hot cocoa bar, or dessert bar for your volunteer team. Be sure to include a sign that proclaims your thankfulness for the volunteers who serve.
- Throw a party. Make your volunteer team your guests of honor, and make it a party to remember.
- Say thank you. Sometimes we just get busy walking through classrooms and solving problems. Take a moment to stop and thank a volunteer.
- Step in and help. It says a lot when a pastor (of any age group) is willing to do a thankless job. Change a diaper, take out the trash, or give your volunteer a restroom break to say thanks.
- Send an unexpected text or message on social media. It’s easy to make ministry all business, but it is important to let volunteers know that they are not simply a tool to get work accomplished. So, with no strings attached and no opportunities to serve, send an electronic thank you.
- Honor volunteers. Set aside a Sunday, or a week of volunteer appreciation. School teachers are honored for a week each spring, so why can’t we honor those who teach our children about eternal things?
- Pray for them. Find out how you can pray for your volunteers, pray, and follow up by asking about the outcome of the prayer request. Tell them that you prayed for them.
Volunteers are a vital asset in churches. Without them, pastors (of all age groups) would be even busier than we already are. So, take a few moments this Thanksgiving to thank your volunteers.