Given that it’s the month of “Thanksgiving”, I felt it was appropriate to include a post about how to say “Thank You” to the various ministries at your church.
I don’t know about you, but I’ve been to churches where words of thankfulness and affirmation were in abundance, and other churches where I felt like I had to earn it. Brothers and sisters, in a church, we are to be one body. One part of the body is no more or less important than another (1 Corinthians 12:12-31). When we hold back our gratitude, we are hurting the body, and ourselves.
So, let’s lift each other up, spur one another one to love and good works (Hebrews 10:24), and show our gratitude!
1. Write a card/Prepare a gift
This is probably a given, but writing cards is still just as important as it was hundreds of years ago! If you enjoy handwritten letters and cards as much as I do, I know that they still go a long way!
Preparing a gift is always thoughtful. If you’re in charge of preparing a gift for everyone in a ministry, try to choose a gift that is practical like a coffee mug, apparel, or a key flashlight. If you’re not great at buying gifts, or want to give a gift to someone more specific, consider a service-oriented gift. For example, if you’re single, and the ministry leader has four young children, ask if you could help babysit their kids on a Saturday night, so the ministry leader and his/her spouse can go on a date night. Perhaps you enjoy cooking or baking–prepare a yummy snack for ministry members. Think about your talents and gifts, and use them to bless someone else in the ministry.
2. Make it public
Now that everyone and their grandmother are on Facebook or some form of social media, it’s easy to make any conversation public. Why not make our gratitude also public? After a Sunday service, go to that person’s Facebook page, and write a few lines about how you’re thankful for that person. Some examples (these are random names):
- For someone on the welcoming team: Sally, thank you for welcoming each person with a big smile! It helped me to walk in with joy, and to smile at others, too.
- For someone on the food team: Jimmy, I really enjoyed the snack you made for the church today! Thank you for being creative and blessing the church in this way. I’d also love the recipe!
Showing public recognition cultivates a culture of affirmation and thankfulness. When we publicly show our thanks, it encourages everyone who is reading it. It helps them see that even the small details are noticed, and that they matter. The parts of the body that may seem unimportant is brought to the light, and others can see how that part of the body contributes and builds up the body.
3. Host an Appreciation Event
This may be difficult to do on your own for every ministry at your church, so consider doing it for just one, or help organize one for the entire church. This can be done after a Sunday service as a lunch. Or if it’s a smaller gathering, you can go out to a nice restaurant. As long as there’s food and good people, what can go wrong?
4. Pray with, and for, them on Sunday morning
Some ministries that are particularly active on Sundays (as opposed to other days of the week), may spend some time on Sunday morning praying for that day’s service. If you don’t mind getting to church a little earlier, consider joining them during prayer time, and lift up a special prayer for them. I would also challenge you to pray with, and for, a team that you wouldn’t normally serve in. For example, I don’t have children, so although I appreciate the children’s ministry, I don’t always think about them or the ministry leaders. So for me, that would be a ministry I wouldn’t normally serve in, but would love to pray for.
5. Serve alongside them
This is a great way to show your thanks, especially to the ministries that are extremely busy on a Sunday morning. Think about your welcoming team. There are probably several people stationed inside and outside the church greeting each member as they make their way to the sanctuary. Consider standing beside one of the welcoming team members, and do what they do. If a children’s class needs an extra assistant, offer to help. Serve food alongside the food ministry team. If you’re a mobile church like us, assist with the set-up and tear-down.
When we get a taste of how other ministries operate, and experience just how much they do, it opens up our hearts to be more thankful for the greater body of Christ.
I hope you have some good ideas about how you can show thanks to at least one other ministry at your church. What are some ways you show thankfulness to the ministries at your church?
18 But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. 19 If all were a single member, where would the body be? 20 As it is, there are many parts, yet one body.