All churches heavily rely on their staff to keep the gears of ministry going. Our current situation during this pandemic has been a tough time for church workers—more work has been added outside our job description, and personal time has decreased. We’ve had to learn new things quickly and think of innovations to solve new challenges. All of us are working hard to ensure that we are taking care of our congregations.
But how should leaders show their appreciation and gratitude for the incredible jobs that their church staff does? Here are some recommendations from our members to give you ideas.
“Maybe my top one would be praising them individually and by name in front of the congregation before the sermon starts… Or maybe show gratitude to the communications group as a whole. Hand-written letters in the mail with a small gift card as well is good. I know these aren’t revolutionary ideas, but they always worked, and my team-members rarely “quit” or “dropped” off the team.” Brandon Hadley
“I think knowing their love languages help. Words of affirmation mean a lot to me while others I know prefer some quality time or small gifts.” Amanda Dumas
“Notice when they put in extra work or effort on something and thank them for it specifically.” Chris Taylor
“Our senior pastor writes a note of appreciation on your work anniversary. If you are a manager of a team, notes, specific words of thanks not general, take everyone to lunch (when you can), at a team meeting-share specific things you like about the person, not just their work.” Dianne Cotten DeKoning
“…I think a lot of it is just speaking to them in their language and thank them for their projects and work. I read what Brandon Hadley posted and super agree on the name dropping. Congregations don’t really know who we are a lot of the time (as with other ministry departments), which is on one hand, understandable. But also assess whether that’s what they’d want. Some people are introverted and that would kill them to have people clap for them in service (probably best to thank them in private in that case)…” JB Nelson
“Appreciation should be personal. Some people like public praise, while others (like me) prefer something more private. Some prefer gifts like a small gift card to a favorite coffee shop. A surprise lunch or dinner for the entire comms team at your home might be a nice show of appreciation.” Linda Master-Parker
“Definitely check with your people before public shout outs – as an introvert who blushes easily, this has made me nauseous in the past. Out of the blue affirmations are great, but I also like relevant gifts. Like, get the church on board to get a subscription to a useful app (photoshop, planning center, etc) or purchase a creative book to encourage/inspire (even a devotional could be great). Ask the spouse or a close friend what would lift that person up. Sometimes it’s just chocolate/coffee/ice cream on those days when things just pile up.” Jessie Reuter-Yount
To be sure that the appreciation is meaningful to the one who receives it, make sure that the way you show your gratitude is personalized to the language that they value. With that, there are many ways to show how much you love and appreciate them. Last but not least, pray for all of them. Attend and commit to their needs, and show them your support with what they do. With honoring them, you are edifying the body of Christ. Encourage and keep doing it all for the glory of God.