Yesterday was Valentine’s Day (at the time I’m posting this) and February is the month of love. ANYTIME is a good time to tell your volunteers that you love them, but around Valentine’s Day is an especially good time to do it (even though in Christian circles we know that the day ultimately commemorates the day a saint got murdered for his faith … but let’s’ not get too historical!)
Here are 6 ways to express your love for your volunteers:
1. Pray for Them
The most powerful to love your volunteers is through intercessory prayer. When volunteer leaders step up into ministry, they instantly put a bullseye on their own chest and on their family. We need to stand beside them in prayer. Don’t get sucked into just praying the two common American prayers—safety and comfort. If you need some fresh ideas for what to pray, check out Paul’s prayers in Colossians 1:9-12 and Ephesians 1:15-20.
2. Send a Handwritten Note of Thanks
In our digital age of email and texting and social media, handwritten notes are a rare treat.
3. Brag about Them in Front of Them
If you have access to a pulpit and a microphone each week, use some of your airtime to brag about specific volunteer leaders. Otherwise, catch them doing something right and tell others about it while they’re within earshot.
4. Thank the Employer or Coworkers at Their “Real Job”
Most companies and employers encourage their employees to volunteer in the community. A simple email to your volunteer leader’s employer outlining the impact they are having at your church or organization can go a long way to increasing their stature and reputation at their workplace.
5. Tell them stories of life change
You are the chief storyteller, so one of the most rewarding acts of love for your volunteers is to share stories of life change with them. Remind them that they are making a difference and that they’re part of God’s great work in the world. These stories remind them that all the extra time and energy, all the sacrifices that they make in order to serve, is accomplishing something great.
6. Share a gift of love
A gift certificate for a night away without kids at the movies or the philharmonic, dinner out, a bed and breakfast getaway, five free coffees at Starbucks: these gifts of love communicate appreciation to key leaders and they won’t soon be forgotten.
These are just six of the many ways you can help your volunteers feel appreciated. I hope you will take some time this month to show them some love!