Church Volunteer Appreciation Ideas
Every week, you depend on your church volunteers for effective ministry. Church volunteers are dedicated and serving faithfully because they are passionate about the mission of your church. Saying “thank you” to church volunteers in seemingly small ways builds trust and strong relational bonds among your volunteer team because they know they are an integral part of something that truly matters. So if you’re looking to tell your church volunteers how much they matter, try using some of these appreciation ideas!
Offer Words of Gratitude
The book of Proverbs tells us that “kind words are like honey — sweet to the soul and healthy for the body.” Who doesn’t like to know that they are appreciated? It feels good to know we are cherished and that our sacrifices matter. Offering words of gratitude lets your church volunteers know that they are valued. Communicating this appreciation is vital for building up a healthy church volunteer team. Good communication is key for a thriving ministry!
Wanna Know How to Write an Effective “Thank You” Letter?
Sharing a “Thank You” letter is such a great appreciation idea. It’s a simple act of kindness that goes a long way! There’s no doubt you know your way around a “thank you” letter but here are some tips that’ll take it over the top.
- Make It Personal: It can be tempting to write a generic thank you note for volunteers at church, but when you make each letter personal by including something special they did or brief details of how they impacted someone, they will feel seen and truly valued.
- Be Encouraging: When writing thank you notes for church volunteers, be encouraging by sharing how you are praying for them. Share a Bible passage you feel they may connect with. Let them know you value their friendship and that you are here for them.
- Make It a Regular Habit and Be Timely: Make writing thank you letters a regular habit. Pick a couple of volunteers each month, and send them a card. After special events like retreats or Christmas Eve services, write thank notes to the volunteers, sharing how they made it a success. Make a calendar of your church volunteers’ birthdays and send cards out each month.
- Hand Write It and Mail It: There’s nothing wrong with a quick email of appreciation, but when saying thank you to church volunteers, take the time to hand write and mail cards. Your volunteers know that writing a letter takes time, and your personal touch is sure to put a smile on their faces.
Organize Small Volunteer Appreciation Events
It’s not hard to find reasons to celebrate your church volunteers — you couldn’t do it without them! They make ministry possible! It can be hard, though, to decide which church volunteer appreciation ideas are right for your context, especially when the calendar is full with large events. Organizing small events throughout the year is a great way to let your church volunteers know just how much you appreciate them. Here’s how you do it…
Volunteer Appreciation Days
Pick a couple of Sundays throughout the year where you can say thank you to church volunteers. Celebrate specific ministry teams on different Sundays by inviting them up front. Pray over your volunteers with the people of your church. Recognize the impact they have made with photos, videos, or stories highlighting their work. Some of your volunteers don’t enjoy the spotlight, but I’d bet you’ve got some volunteers that’ll love a little Holy Spirit approved display of appreciation.
Leading up to these volunteer appreciation days, feature volunteers in church communications like weekly emails, bulletins, newsletters, or on social media. You could share a photo, a short bio, and a quote from each volunteer on why they serve or what they love about serving. You could feature one or a couple of volunteers each week. Include a thank you message for church volunteers when you share their individual blurbs.
Meals at Meetings
The last thing you want to do is add another event on a church volunteer’s plate, so utilize the time you already have planned together by making it extra special. If you have regular planning meetings or trainings, share a meal together. Not only will this be a time to say thank you to church volunteers but it’s also a great way to build stronger relational bonds. If a meeting falls close to a holiday, make it fun with a theme and decorations. Go the extra mile with special deserts and treats.
Get together with one or a couple of volunteers for coffee each month. If they don’t like coffee, I hear tea isn’t so bad either. Spend time catching up with what’s going on in their lives and provide encouragement for spiritual growth. You’ll want to make these kind of hangs inclusive, so announce an open invitation or make the first move and invite a specific person. Use this time to pray for each other and for the ministry. Let them speak into what’s going on in the ministry, providing thoughts or suggestions. Make it known that their voice in the ministry matters!
Say it With a Gift!
Church volunteers give their time, skills, and love each week to serve God and the people of your church. Say “thank you” with some of these gifts for church volunteers.
Volunteer Appreciation Station
Whether it’s on a Sunday or at a youth retreat weekend, provide a room or area just for volunteers with snacks, drinks, and other tokens of appreciation like little bottles of hand sanitizer, mints, or packs of tissues. This is a space just for your church volunteers to take a break and be encouraged. Decorate it and make it a fun, inviting space.
Birthday Gifts for Church Volunteers
Make your church volunteers feel extra special on their birthdays! This can be a small gift like candy, a journal, a devotional, or a gift card to their favorite ‘treat yo’self’ place. By doing so, you can celebrate each volunteer with an added personal touch!
“Thank You” Culture
Get everyone in on saying “thank you” to church volunteers! Whether it’s from the stage or on your church’s messaging platform, make expressions of gratitude a normal part of your culture. Saying “thanks” isn’t exclusive to leadership. It’s always a good idea to include the people who are served by your volunteers each week. Here’s an example on how you can make this collaborative: Have note cards available for church goers to write a “thank you” message for your church volunteers. Take it a step further by filling a gift bag with fun goodies. Who doesn’t love a reusable water bottle, movie theater gift card, or cookies? A goodie bag filled with small gifts and notes of gratitude is a great way to help your church volunteers see the wider impact of their dedication.
Whether its through gifts, special events, or cards, saying “thank you” to church volunteers isn’t just something to check off a to-do list. When you make these expressions a part of your church culture, you create a mindset of thankfulness that leads to attitudes of gratitude. Is it important that you have healthy church volunteer teams and thriving ministries? Are you constantly looking for ways to impact the people of your church and your community? Well, you’ll want to make it a priority to take as many moments as you can to say “thanks.” And if you’ve made it this far, then you already know how it’s done. Do it with words. Do it with gifts. Do it often, and get the whole church involved!
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