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‘Thank you’ boosts volunteers who give precious gift of time

GLORIETA, N.M. (BP)–When was the last time you thanked a volunteer at your church?

John Garner told participants in the National Conference for Church Leadership at Glorieta (N.M.), a LifeWay Conference Center, how to say thank you in a variety of ways to these invaluable people.

“When we ask for volunteers we ask for their time. People’s time is worth more to them than money, so we have to be sure they are appreciated in their work,” said Garner, director of recreation and sports ministry at LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention.

Garner’s session, titled “50+ Ways to Say Thank You,” offered practical application to show appreciation. Ideas included recognition days, special parking spaces, appreciation bulletin boards and gift certificates.

“People need to feel like they are doing something useful and something that makes a difference in the lives of others,” Garner said, “but we must also recognize our volunteers and thank them for the time they give.”

The discussion also included moving beyond the walls of the church to thank a community’s civil servants.

“We need to go above and beyond the typical methods of saying thank you,” Garner said. “We must show appreciation to people both in and out of the church.”

He noted that a lack of thanks leads to the “same old stuff” and produces the “same old results.”

“We must appreciate people because they are the seed planters to the rest of the community.”

LifeWay’s church leadership group and the pastor-staff leadership department sponsored the National Conference for Church Leadership, July 10-14, at Glorieta.
Seaver is a summer intern with LifeWay’s church resources division.

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  • Bill Seaver