Tag Archive - thank you


Why People Volunteer at some Churches but not at others

Ever notice that a lot of churches feel like a spectator sport? You know, the kind of place where people sit around watching the paid staff do everything. The average church in America engages around 45% of their average adult and student attendance in some kind of volunteer role (check out the Unstuck Group Health Assessment for more info like this). But there are those churches that are above average. The top 10% of churches somehow seem to break all the normal statistics and engage more than 70% of their average adult and student attendance in some kind of volunteer role. Here are a couple of things they do different.

#1 High Challenge

They don’t just make an announcement, they don’t just ask, they don’t simply provide the opportunity to serve, these churches challenge people to serve. What comes natural to us is ourselves and these churches combat self-oriented thinking with a high challenge to put faith into action by serving others. They know that you can not serve God without serving people.

#2 Flexibility

Ever notice that people are busy? Most people don’t have hours and hours per week to volunteer at your church. Churches that engage the most volunteers understand this and they are flexible. They don’t’ require volunteers to be involved in everything, instead they invite them to be involved in what they can be.

#3 Fewer Paid Staff

These churches actually have fewer staff, not more staff. Instead of paying people to do ministry they pay staff to lead volunteers. Churches that get stuck loading up on staff end up dealing with the unintended consequences of having staff doing everything and church attenders watching them instead of joining them.

#4 Say Thank You

It’s so simple to say thank you, but so few churches actually do it. I’m not talking about saying thank you from the stage (although that’s not a bad start), but in a personal face-to-face conversation, a handwritten note, or even walking through the kids ministry area during service and popping your head into each kids ministry classroom and saying thank you in the moment.

Posted in Leadership, Spiritual Formation, Volunteers


4 Strategies to Start in 2015 that will Change your Church

It’s January and the gyms are packed. They’re making money hand over fist this month with everyone making New Years Resolutions to finally get in shape. And when I go to the gym in February it will be back to normal. People are notorious for making huge goals at the New Year and then not following through. That’s why I want to give you a couple of small changes you can realistically make this year that will change your church in 2015. You’ll be surprised by how small degrees of change that you make in your trajectory today can pay dividends in the future. So here are 4 small changes that can make a big deal in your church in 2015.

1. Start Hand Writing Notes

Every week set aside 30 minutes to write a couple of notes and send them in the mail. It can be a thank you to a generous giver or a volunteer. It can be encouraging words to a staff member. You can send a note to say thanks for visiting to a guest. Or send a simple “I prayed for you today,” to someone going through a difficult time. Nothing beats a handwritten note. It’s a simple personal touch that says you care and it makes you more authentic and accessible as a leader. Yes, this means using an actual pen to actually write something and put it in the mail. Not an email, not a text, not a direct message on social media but an actual letter.

2. Build an Integrated Ministry Calendar

Get your ministry staff or leaders together and spend the time to build one integrated calendar for the year. Include weekend teaching series, all church events, and segment ministry calendars like Children’s Ministry and Student Ministries. You’ll quickly discover where ministries are in competition with each other, fuel islands of strength, and you’ll be able to simplify your efforts and make sure everyone is moving in the same direction.

3. Evaluate, Evaluate, Evaluate

Take some time with your team to build a list of every ministry at your church (this might actually take a lot of time for some teams). Then ask 4 simple questions about them: 1) What’s Working? 2) What’s Wrong? 3) What’s Confusing? 4) What’s Missing? Then optimize what’s working, change what’s wrong, clarify what’s confusing, and add what’s missing.

4. Join a Leadership Coaching Network

The whole church gets better when the leader gets better. You can be inspired at a leadership conference and hear a lot of leadership theory; or you spend the time to be around other leaders who are in the trenches, engage in leadership exercises, read and discuss great leadership books and trends, and discover new systems and strategies that you can implement in your local church context. Here’s a link if you’re interested in taking this step.

Photo Credit: Great Beyond via Compfight cc

Posted in Leadership


God doesn’t Need my Thanks

Jesus doesn’t need my thankfulness, but I need to give it. Because thankfulness isn’t for God, it’s for us. Thankfulness is necessary in our lives because it reminds us of who God is…and who we are.

Multiple times in the New Testament the Apostle Paul describes us as at one point being dead in our sin, but then being made alive in Christ. For those of us who know Christ we have been rescued from something far worse than any social ridicule, devastating circumstance, or even physical death. We have been made alive in Christ and rescued from spiritual death!

So in whatever circumstance we find ourselves in we can be thankful. Thankfulness is an internal posture we choose to take on, it is something we speak out loud, and live out in our actions. If we’re only thankful when things are going our way, then we’re not thankful…we’re entitled. And entitlement only comes close enough to Jesus to get something from Him, not give something to Him. The fruit of the transformation that tears down a spirit of entitlement in our hearts is thankfulness. There is an inescapable connection between transformation and thankfulness in our lives.

Jesus doesn’t need my thankfulness, but I need to give it.

Posted in Spiritual Formation


Thankfulness through the eyes of a child

When it comes to being thankful, often times as adults we have a way of turning a very simple idea into something overly complex. So this week I asked my girls (Kennedy and Mia who are 6 and 5 respectfully) to star as guest bloggers and do their best to explain their thoughts when it comes to being thankful. This is what they had to say.

Continue Reading…

Posted in Family