How Writing Thank You Notes Makes a Disproportionate Difference
And one of the biggest mistakes we’ve made at our church is believing that people know we care about them when we say. “thank you for serving,” or “thank you for everything you do”, or “we appreciate your family so much.”
While those sentiments are true, we’ve come to realize they’re not specific enough.
It clicked for me one day when my Pastor came up to me and said, “I appreciate you and everything you do for the families at church.”
While I liked the sentiment, it wasn’t super meaningful because it seemed like a line he used with a lot of different people; it was too broad.
And I realized that was the exact same thing I was doing with volunteers and families at church.
I wasn’t totally sure what to do about, but then a few days later in a podcast I was listening to, a pastor talked about how he writes thank you notes every week for volunteers.
It was a great idea; handwritten communication is so rare today that it automatically conveys more value than words or typed text.
So we decided to write thank you notes not just for volunteers, but also for families.
We started by making a checklist of every family and volunteer in our Family Ministry.
Then we committed to writing 3 notes/week to hand deliver on Sundays.
Using that formula, 1 person can easily write 156 notes/year.
Writing the 3 thank you notes only takes about 15 minutes, but when we hand deliver them on Sundays, people are so appreciative: 1) Because no one handwrites anything anymore 2) Because we specifically thought of them and 3) Because we’re letting them know they’re supported.
What’s crazy is that those 15 minutes have become some of the most productive times of the week.
Here’s an example of a note we might write to a volunteer:
Hey Kristen, I just wanted to let you know how thankful I am that you serve in Kid’s Church. I know it’s a big commitment, but it makes an even bigger difference. The way you care for the girl’s in your Small Group and invest in them will make a difference way beyond elementary school. Thank you so much for being part of the team! Hannah and I are praying for you guys. If there’s anything you ever need, just let me know. -Pastor Brandon
And here’s an example of a note we might write to a family:
Hey Julie, I just wanted to let you know how much we appreciate your family. We love having Billy and Susan in Kid’s Church and sharing life with them and you. Hannah and I are praying for you guys. If there’s any questions you ever have or there’s anything specific we can pray with you or your family about, just let me know! – Pastor Brandon
How do you make sure that your appreciation doesn’t feel generic to people? Leave a comment.
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