Thank you, please, thank you!

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An artist in a church decided that one way she could use her gifts was to design cards, especially ‘Thank you’ cards, for people to express their appreciation for each other.

I didn’t buy any – partly because they were a bit pricey, but mostly because I thought they were a bit too over-the-top in their words.

But I thought the idea was great. So I did an experiment. I bought some cards I did like. And the next time I saw someone doing their job really well – not killing themselves, but responsibly, cheerfully and in a way that helped everyone else do theirs, I wrote her a card to say that I’d noticed, and that I was grateful. She had made a kingdom difference. I lined up her contribution with the gospel cause we both served.

A year later that card was still on her desk.

There are a dozen reasons why we don’t say thank-you: After all, she was only doing her job. What else do we pay her for? Why single her out?

Or, as one church leader put it, never say thank-you, because if you do everybody will expect it and they won’t serve unless you do.

But what a miserably low view of people’s willingness to serve! Of course we should thank people. Especially if you’re an ambitious, goal-focussed Christian leader. Show them that you’ve noticed the way they do their job or ministry has reflected the kingdom. Tell them how much you value serving with them. Thank the volunteers, and thank the staff.

Thank God for them. And tell them that you do.

Process ideas

  • Think through your week – who would value a note to show your appreciation?
  • Think through your prayer list – do you thank God enough for the people in your church?
  • And the next time you’re passing an art museum, pop in to the shop and buy some cards to keep in your office.

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