Want a healthy ministry? Promote gratitude.
Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good. His love endures forever!
We here at Vanderbloemen think that the Thanksgiving season is an incredible opportunity to lean into God’s word and understand his heart for gratitude. Our ultimate motivation for gratitude should be the giving of credit where it is rightfully due, primarily to our Creator. When we acknowledge the source of all things, it gives us a smaller view of self and a greater view of God. The book of Job glorifies God in the midst of trial, saying, “The Lord gives, and the Lord has taken away. Blessed be the name of the Lord.”
But there is another aspect of gratitude to be aware of. Not only is gratitude to God important for keeping an appropriate view of him, but psychologically, any gratitude contributes to your overall health and wellbeing. According to multiple studies, regular reflection on the things you’re grateful for leads to an overall more positive outlook on life, and increased emotional health. Gratitude also enables community, allows for better rest, and serves as a gateway to other positive emotions. One study even found that gratitude has lasting beneficial effects on the brains of those with existing mental health conditions.
The takeaway for leadership here is simple: one of the best ways to drive success in your church, school, or organization is to encourage gratitude. Here are a few ways gratitude can directly affect your workplace:
Gratitude to God keeps us humble and spiritually healthy. As a pastor and ministry leader, model thankfulness to God and encourage it within others to see humility grow in the workplace, keeping us in right relationship with God. In James 1, we are reminded that “every good and perfect gift is from above,” and when we remember this, we maintain a healthy perspective of who our God is.
Gratitude to others keeps us encouraged. When your staff are regularly encouraged by thanks from other team members, while being a source of genuine encouragement themselves, your culture will be healthy and serve as a safe, growth-fostering community for your team members. Paul made a regular habit of encouraging the churches he ministered to, even when they had failed or were struggling.
Emotionally and mentally healthy staff help further your mission. Like we mentioned earlier, when we are grateful, we are able to maintain far better mental and emotional health, which directly affects our work and the fulfillment of our mission. Keep your staff creatively strong and motivated by encouraging a culture of humility and thankfulness.
Gratitude breeds gratitude. It regenerates once it is given, increasing over time. A little gratitude a day will go a long way, especially when practiced habitually rather than on the occasional holiday. One of the aforementioned studies shows that those who spent five minutes a day journaling about what they’re grateful for increased long-term well-being by 10%. Try starting out your day with this exercise and see how it affects your workflow, your team, and even your family. We at Vanderbloemen want to see you maximize the effects of gratitude in this season to foster both a healthy culture and a healthy community.