5 Ways To Show Gratitude For Your Volunteers This Thanksgiving
By: Vanderbloemen November 23, 2017
Thanksgiving is a time to reflect on all the blessings God has given us and to show our genuine gratitude for those blessings by giving thanks. Perhaps one of the more important blessings a church can have is its volunteers. After all, what church would be successful in reaching others for Christ were it not for its army of key volunteers and lay people?
Thanksgiving season is a great time to show your appreciation to volunteers, and you don’t have to break the church bank to do it. Here are five simple, but heartfelt, ways to show your gratitude for volunteers and lay leaders in your church.
1. Write them a card.
While this sounds so simple, the power of a handwritten card in this digital age should not be underestimated. Have your church staff write to the volunteers in each of their areas expressing their thanks for all they have done throughout the year. Then, circulate the cards for each of the church staff to sign. If your church is too big to have everyone sign, make sure the key leaders of the ministry in which the volunteers are serving have the opportunity to sign the card instead.
2. Provide a special Sunday morning treat.
The church I attend takes a couple of Sundays a year to bring its children’s ministry volunteers a special breakfast while they are serving. A cart goes around to each children’s area delivering hot coffee, fresh bagels, muffins, etc., for any volunteer who might want a little treat that morning. It’s a nice surprise and a welcomed reminder that the church appreciates the time we give to volunteer with the children.
3. Give thanks from the main stage.
This one does not cost any money at all. Have someone ask for all of the volunteers in the congregation to stand up during the service and acknowledge the time and effort they give throughout the year. Besides being a good gauge of the percentage of your congregation that volunteers, it will make your volunteers feel honored and appreciated that time was taken from the main service to acknowledge their work.
4. Have the whole church sign a banner giving thanks.
Again, this is one that costs very little, but has the potential to make a big impact. Create a banner to hang in a heavily trafficked area in your church which thanks your volunteers. Allow members of your congregation to sign the banner over a period of time. Then, take a picture of the banner with all the signatures and send it out in an email blast to each of your volunteers.
5. Host a volunteer appreciation event.
This could be as simple as a reception with sweet treats or a picnic lunch for volunteers and their families. If you have money to spare in your ministry budgets, hosting a special event just for your volunteers will make them feel loved and especially appreciated.
Doing something, however small, to show your thanks will go a long way towards volunteer retention and morale.
What are some ways that you can show appreciation to your volunteers this month?