That key? Saying thank you—in words and actions.

Perhaps as June nears an end, many of your programs break for the summer. Some volunteers and staff will return next fall, but some likely will not. While you say thank you every day, the end of these programs stand as no-miss milestones!

As a servant leader of other servant leaders, you want to seize these opportunities to thank those who make it possible for the ministry of your church or organization to go so smoothly and work so well. This includes . . .

Teachers. Volunteers who work with children in your Sunday school and professionals in your Christian day school do their best day by day to touch the heart of every child in their care. A sincere word of appreciation can truly lift a teacher’s heart—and the hearts of the aides and other classroom helpers, too. Look for creative, informal ways to say thanks throughout the year. But as programs close down for the summer months, give a more public, official thank-you, too!

Teachers work with their students, of course. But they also usually work with colleagues behind the scenes to make all those extra events run smoothly—the school basketball tournament, the parent-teacher chili cook-off, the yearly silent auction, the Christmas party to celebrate Jesus’ birthday. Sometimes VBS teachers and helpers count themselves among the most-easily-forgotten educators in the congregation. Don’t let this happen in your church!

Staff. Have you chosen a time to recognize your full- and part-time staff? your pastors, youth workers, church musicians, and others who serve? These people don’t necessarily follow a September to June calendar. Many serve year-round. If you observe Pastor Appreciation month, don’t forget to include your Christian school’s principal, the youth worker, and your parish nurse, too. Everyone on the staff should hear your sincere words of thanks, spoken in ways tailored specifically for them. What’s that? You’ve already said thanks? It can’t hurt to say it again!

Volunteers. The United States Department of Labor reports that more than 62 million people in the United States volunteered in 2015, and the time each donated averaged 52 hours a year. What would it cost your organization if you had to pay for the work volunteers do for you?

Purely on a statistical basis, volunteers are the lifeblood of many organizations. And, that doesn’t count the extra enthusiasm, the smiles, the love, and the Christian modeling volunteers bring to the table. Priceless!

How will you thank the teachers, staff members, and volunteers in your ministry? Start by browsing through the value-priced Christian gifts at


You are welcome to copy this article for one-time use when you include this credit line and receive no monetary benefit from it: © 2017 CTA, Inc. Used with permission.

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