Saying thank you to your congregation is one the easiest ways to show your appreciation. In fact, studies show that a sincere “thank you” goes far beyond social niceties and actually motivates people to be more giving themselves.
With that in mind, here are a few practical ways you can say “Thank You” to your congregation–try out a few of these and let us know what you think.
- Send Out a Personal Letter from Senior Pastor
Include in your tax statements a letter from your Senior pastor. This one-page, heartfelt letter will show your congregation how important their support is to your Pastor and the ministries that the church provides.
- Create a Short Video
Create a “thank you” video message that you can show to your congregation. You can include this video on your church website giving page, share on social media, post to YouTube, and send to members via email. It’s also a good idea to try to get a short message from each ministry leader to include on the video.
- Say It From the Pulpit
Probably the most obvious of them all, but we couldn’t leave it off the list–a big thank you from the senior pastor during a church service. The key is to make sure that it doesn’t come off scripted or staged.
- Send a Personal Note
Don’t forget how powerful a personalized handwritten thank you note can be. They take time, thoughtfulness, and possibly even some creativity to create, which is exactly why they are so effective at expressing gratitude.
Get your whole staff involved in creating these! Start with your volunteers and biggest givers, but make it a goal to send one to each and every member of your church at some time throughout the year.
- Tell People on Social Media
Twitter, Facebook, Instagram…people attending your church are on social media every day so why not leverage those platforms to say thank you with a video or short message.
- Send Out a Small Gift
People don’t give to get something in return, but everyone loves and appreciates a gift when they don’t expect it. Surprise your givers by sending them a small gift.
If your worship team has a new album you might give out a “sample” CD. Or if you’re associated with a company that can provide discounts or free goods, include these gifts in your year-end mailing or handout during services.
- Show People How their Giving Changes Lives
There is no better way to say thank you than to help people connect with where their financial giving has made a spiritual or tangible impact. Get video testimonials from your community or have a few of these people speak from the main stage…seeing how their giving has actually changed lives will build trust and validity in your ministry.
- Tell People How Their Money was Used
Infographics are a powerful and effective way to give people a considerable amount of information that they can understand and absorb. Put together an infographic video, flyer, and webpage that details exactly how their giving was used during the year. This will help people see the value of supporting ministry and how much of an impact they helped to have on the church and community you support.
- Make Some Phone Calls
In the digital age, where an email or text is the preferred means of communication, the art of calling people on the phone is something that is often overlooked. Picking up the phone and spending a little time thanking the people that are in your congregation will not only show them your appreciation, but might open the door to discipleship opportunities. So, turn off the computer and dial up a few numbers…you might be surprised at how much a simple phone call can mean to people.
- Have Fun
Don’t forget to have fun throughout the year! At Christmastime, you can set up photo booths with silly Christmas themes or during Valentine’s Day hand out little chocolates. You can even plan for “non-holiday” themed events and just throw in some crazy and witty ways for your congregation to have fun at church. Helping your congregation to relax and play will show them that you appreciate their well-being and support of your ministry.
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