How To Give Thanks to the People Your Ministry Depends On

Who shows up every week without fail? Church volunteers. Who is so generous with their time that they work tirelessly from the goodness of their hearts? Church volunteers. And who dedicates their lives to God in a way that makes a difference? Church volunteers!

Chris Holland
August 16, 2022
Kids Ministry Leadership

5 Ways to Celebrate Your Church Volunteers

Church volunteers welcoming visitors

Volunteering in churches isn’t always easy, and numbers have been dwindling in recent years. Christianity Today found a steady decline in volunteers since 2017, possibly due to the pandemic. Unfortunately, some people aren't interested in the idea of church volunteering if it has no reward beyond serving God.

So why not put the effort in to make your volunteers feel extra appreciated for what they do? Giving thanks doesn’t have to cost a thing, so take it upon yourself as a church leader to create a supportive, welcoming, and loving environment for all your church workers.

1. Volunteer Appreciation Gifts

A small gift for your volunteers

What better way to put a smile on your church volunteer’s face than with a sweet and thoughtful gift? Gifts for church volunteers don’t have to break the bank either, and often, home-baked goods or items handmade with love go a long way in showing appreciation.

Remembering your church volunteers’ milestones in the workplace offers the perfect opportunity to show your gratitude. Note these dates in your calendar to ensure you never forget their six-month anniversary of serving or 30th birthday.

It is always a good day to share the love, so why not provide a sweet treat for volunteers before starting a Sunday service? Give a church volunteer appreciation gift and make someone's day with a small touch of appreciation that will boost overall morale at your church.

2. Thank You Notes From the Heart

A thank you card

Sometimes all it takes is those little two words to celebrate your church volunteers. It’s easy enough to forget to say “thank you” often, but it really is the most simplistic and effective way of showing appreciation. Saying it is sweet, but writing thank you notes takes the cake.

Brighten someone’s day with a short message about how they are doing incredible work and how grateful you are for their time. Surprising your workers with a thoughtful thank you note might provide them with the extra bit of support they didn’t even know they needed. 

3. Share Good News Publicly

Giving thanks doesn’t need to happen in private, so let’s shout it from the rooftops! Let the whole world know how incredible your church volunteers are for their unfaltering faith in God and boundless dedication. 

Slip it into your sermons, speeches at church events, and on your social media channels too. Thanking volunteers should be so normalized that they would never doubt for a second how cherished they are by your church community. 

Choose a church worker to showcase on your church Instagram page weekly as a spotlight shoutout day. It helps your followers to get to know the people behind your ministry while encouraging your church volunteers to feel pride in all they do, so learn more about using social media to give thanks.

4. Offer Leadership Opportunities 

Volunteer becoming a leader in church music

You may not realize it, but the more you invest in your volunteers and the more opportunities you offer them, the more fulfilled and determined they will be. Don’t let your workers stay stuck in unsatisfying and monotonous roles – let them grow with your ministry!

Knowing which church volunteers will thrive as leaders is essential, and it’s important to remember not every volunteer has the drive needed to be a leader. Offer them more responsibility and see how they handle it to assess if they are ready.

Celebrate the unique skills of each church volunteer by reminding them of their gifts, as it feels wonderful to have your talents recognized. Church Fuel outlines some of the central elements to bear in mind when transforming a volunteer into a leader.

5. Cultivate a Healthy Culture

Great church volunteer culture

If you cultivate your church culture right, simply being a part of something bigger can make your volunteers feel celebrated. As culture starts from the top, every church leader at your ministry must be supportive, grateful, and a real team player.

Clear communication and strong leadership are two central pillars of healthy church culture, as it develops happy and hardworking volunteers. Check out our blog on ten things that make a healthy church volunteer culture to see what else your ministry could be doing.

Build a sense of community in your ministry where volunteers support each other, leaders care for and value workers, and there is a mutual sense of trust and respect. Every single volunteer at your church is a gift, so care for them accordingly.

Why Is Volunteer Celebration Important?

Celebrating your volunteers at church

Church volunteer appreciation costs nothing, so make it a standard part of your ministry and how you run it. Think about it, as church volunteers are a gift from God, saying “thank you” is a way of praising Him. 

Give thanks to your hardworking volunteers as Paul the Apostle thanked his church members. Don’t become complacent about the dedication of your volunteers, as they actively build a brighter world every day they arrive in your church. 

 Philippians 1:3-6

 “I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”

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