Say Please, Say Thank You
Several years ago I read a book with the title listed above. It was written by a Seminary President who felt that people had lost some of the common courtesies of life. The book pointed out how often a word of kindness such as thank you could make a difference in a relationship.
I have become increasingly convinced that ministry leaders have become afflicted with the disease of taking people for granted. “Please” and “thank you” are forgotten in the verbal exchange. It would appear in some cases that service is “owed” to the organization as opposed to a sense of gratitude for the hours given and in some cases, the sacrifices made.
As a church board member years ago, I recall leaving a meeting at a very late hour and then rising early to go to work. Meanwhile I found staff members took the next day off because they had been “out late”. I was amazed that I was expected to give up an evening for a long meeting (often poorly run) and continue my professional career but pastoral staff couldn’t keep a similar schedule. Even today, I find the concept discouraging and frankly a bit hypocritical.
If you are a leader in a Christian ministry or on a Pastoral staff, take time to appreciate your people. “Thank you” is a nice word to hear when you are giving many hours for a project.
I hear complaints that “we can’t recruit volunteers”. Perhaps you should examine how those volunteers are recruited, if they are given job descriptions, encouraged and thanked. My experience is that a small number of people do the volunteering, sometimes for years, and simply burn out. I believe those who are not volunteering observe this process and simply don’t want to go through a similar experience.
My wife, Bev, who was a church office administrator for 20+ years, held a volunteer luncheon each year for those who volunteered in the office and in the “quiet” jobs around the church. It was a fun filled occasoin with special little gifts and lots of thanks. I noticed she never had any difficulty recruiting .
Take time to thank those who help your ministry be effective. You might find they will come for more!