So here we are – less than three months away from the biggest church season of the year. I just left a planning meeting with the worship pastor at my home church. We were talking about ways to turn first-time guests into second-time guests. We brainstormed about setting up a tent outside to welcome guests and give them a gift, as well as info about next steps.
The reality is all we planned to do takes a huge amount of volunteer leadership. I coached him on delegating and equipping the saints for the work of the ministry (Ephesians 4).
But here’s the real question:
How do we still have a team going forward after such a stressful and busy season as Christmas?
Here are some thoughts:
We live in a digital world. Texting, IMing, Facebook posts, Instagram posts, and daily tweets – truly a whirlwind when it comes to communicating these days. Call me old-fashioned, but I’ve found that a personal touch still goes a long way (yes, even in 2021).
- A Handwritten Note
Everybody loves to receive a handwritten note thanking them for their service on your team. We’re coming up on one of the busiest times of the year with Christmas. We all know that Christmas is like the Super Bowl for churches. More people will visit your congregation than any other season of the year.
Your volunteers are going to work countless hours (your staff, too). Take the time to write out ‘Thank You’ notes to each and every one of them. If you have the budget, include a gift card in the note to them. Sometimes I do Chilis gift cards for $25. Sometimes I can only do a $10 Starbucks card. Whatever your budget can do – make it happen.
- Phone Calls
Another thing that goes a long way in this digital world is phone calls. It seems we’ve lost the art of picking up the phone and checking on our team and seeing how they’re doing. I used to go through my team’s list of names and give them a call just to see how they were doing and if there was anything I could pray for them about. This went a long way!
- Personal Touch
One final thought I’ll mention on a personal touch is to give out hugs. You wouldn’t believe it, but a hug goes a long way. Now I know that some people don’t like to be touched and freak out if you try to hug them. You need to be aware of body language and know if you’re making someone uncomfortable, but by and large, most people like a good ole hug.
On Wednesday nights, I greeted my team members with hugs and asked how they were doing. This is in contrast to barking to get your post or “Did you hear about the changes we made?”
I’ve made it a point to not let something business come out of my mouth first. The person is always more important than the thing we’re trying to accomplish or produce. Check on them first and then update them on the changes. Lastly, greet them with a warm smile. Let your people know you love and care for them.
This is about valuing people over production. People are more important than what they can produce and we shouldn’t prostitute them and their gifts. God has entrusted them to us and our team and we should value them.
How long has it been since you wrote a note? How long since you called a team member? Given any hugs lately?
Let’s surprise our team and volunteers with a personal touch and an attitude of gratitude this holiday season.
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