3 Ways to Show Appreciation to Church Volunteers

If you’ve ever volunteered, you know it’s not easy. Even when throwing yourself into something you love, a lot of time and energy are required to open yourself up to new volunteer opportunities. This is why, even in church ministry, it’s important to show your volunteers that you appreciate them and understand that it takes commitment for them to do what they do.

But one question remains: how can you show volunteers that you appreciate them? Although the options are endless, here are three ideas to consider as you begin to incorporate gestures of appreciation into your ministries.

1. Give back

Give to those who give to the church. This is one of the best ways to show your appreciation. It’s not as tough as you might think. For example, you can make a coffee table available to volunteers in a room set aside for them to chat and connect. Or provide water bottles to those serving on hot summer days. Scale it up a bit and host a quarterly breakfast for volunteers to enjoy before a morning church service!

If you’re hesitant to plan something because you’re not sure what your volunteers would enjoy — ask! Most likely, they’ll be thankful you asked and happy to engage by sharing creative ideas that fit the heartbeat of your church.

2. Communicate your gratitude

Although it’s a long-standing, classic gesture to send a thank you card in the mail, it’ll never go out of style. Taking the time to send a quick, personalized thank you note to each volunteer will go a long way in making them feel appreciated.

If you’re not sure of their address, or don’t always have the time to write a formal card, many volunteers would appreciate a call, text, or email just as much! Make it personal, and mention their specific efforts by sharing a way their individual contributions have strengthened your church.

3. Listen to feedback

If you ask for feedback, you’ll get it. But the work doesn’t stop there. You’ll also need to demonstrate that you heard it. This isn’t hard to do, but it does take intentional effort. For example, if you made the request for feedback in a group setting, you can send out an email restating the suggestions voiced during the discussion. This provides confirmation that you heard what was said and it gives everyone the opportunity to clarify any points that were misunderstood.

Also, act on suggestions by taking the next steps to show that you heard them. Even if it’s as simple as scheduling a meeting, you’ll show that you value input from your volunteers. Undoubtedly, they’ll feel appreciated not only for their service, but also for their unique perspectives and insights.

If you gathered feedback from a one-on-one conversation, the principle still applies. You can follow up with a quick email or text message summarizing the discussion and outlining the next steps you plan to take in response. By taking action to show that you heard your volunteers and that you will move forward with what you heard, you demonstrate how much they're valued.

Whether volunteers work on a one-time community service project or dedicate their time to regular, scheduled ministries in the church, like those you might schedule in Ministry Scheduler Pro, taking time to make sure your volunteers feel appreciated is vital to creating a thriving volunteer program. Although it takes thought and effort to show your gratitude, the investment is well worth the rewards.

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