Yesterday, people around the world gave their time and energy to serve in their local church. They led groups, worked in nurseries, ushered guests, received offerings, led worship, directed traffic, and did many other things. They did so without expectation of honor or reward. That’s all the more reason why I think we need to say “thank you” to them.
Why We Need to Say Thank You
- Saying “thank you” is a way to praise God. That’s what the apostle Paul did: he thanked church members by thanking God for them: “I give thanks to my God for every remembrance of you, always praying with joy for all of you in my every prayer, because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now” (Phil. 1:3-5).
- Some of these volunteers pray regularly for us. I wish more of them did, but those who do make a difference in our ministries. Only God knows what their prayers have meant to us.
- We couldn’t do what we do without volunteers. Paid staff can do only so much in a church. Our overall local church ministry would be seriously hindered if all our volunteers left.
- Our volunteers give sacrificially of their time. Many of them work 40+ hours a week and then give to their church above that. They give, even though they’re often busy and tired.
- Faithful volunteers serve even during times of turmoil. Church conflict often results in a loss of volunteers, but some of them just keep serving faithfully and diligently. They continue to give their efforts, trusting that the church will work through the conflict.
How to Say Thank You This Week
- Handwrite thank you notes to a few long-serving volunteers. It sounds old-fashioned, but that’s precisely why it matters. It’s unexpected.
- Send emails to a few volunteers, but address them personally. A mass email is a start, but an email addressed specifically to each volunteer is better. It takes more time, but pays greater dividends.
- Make some phone calls to a few volunteers. Even just one phone call a day would mean that five volunteers get a “thank you” this week.
- Stop and talk to volunteers you see at church. Don’t get so busy that you walk past them. Let them know your gratitude.
- Plan to say “thank you” in your sermon next week. Don’t take this step in place of the above, but use the pulpit platform appropriately to thank volunteers.
Take some time today to get started . . .