Silent gratitude isn’t much use to anyone. – G.B. Stern

When was the last time you took a pulse of your church staff? Are they loving the life they’re leading, or do they drag their feet walking into the office Monday morning? Sure, coffee is a necessary deal and all, but it shouldn’t take two or three cups to get your people pumped to serve every week, unless it really does take two to three cups to get them to move the dial.

Therein lies the problem. What used to be someone’s life passion has become a job; a rote mechanism that earns them a paycheck. And yes, they do deserve a check if they’re doing a job. They probably deserve a bonus if they’re killing it on the regular. But there’s the other problem – a bonus. Or rather, a little bit of extra appreciation.

We’ve become accustomed to a job well done, and that is it. No extra thanks. No you’re doing great. Nothing. Just work. We’re not saying that every stroke of the keyboard or meeting well spent deserves raise, but we are saying that perhaps, everyone once and a while, the people are are making a difference for your organization deserve, or need, a little credit for the work they are doing.

It’s probably not your fault. In fact, you probably don’t even think about it. The truth is most bosses don’t think about it, because they are narrow focused on the mission of the church. That’s not only acceptable, it’s a good thing. We think it’s great. But when the product becomes more important than the people, we have missed the mark.

Here’s where appreciation comes in. But first, some context.

Last week we hosted a VIP Dinner with Tithely at The Flying Pig in Vista, Ca during Sticky Teams at North Coast Church (the church a bunch of our team attends and serves at). We were both vendors at the conference and we thought it would be a good idea to take out some of our current clients as well as some of our future clients. We figured, if nothing else, we all get a good dinner. But what we got was so much more than that.

Every single person and group intentionally came up to us to say thanks. We’re not talking about a simple thank you, handshake, and back to my rack of lamb. We’re talking the sincere, eye contact making, deep in the belly thank you. The kind of thanks people give when they needed to be appreciated.

That made the dinner worth it.

But it also brought this thought to mind: how are we regularly appreciating the people that are giving their lives in service to our God and church? Think long and hard on this one. How are you regularly appreciating your people? After you’re done thinking on this, walk into their office, sit down, and ask them this: “Do you feel like you’re being appreciated?”

That question is life changing. It’s organization changing. You’re bringing value, people value, back into the equation. It’s no longer about pushing out a good product, it’s about preparing positive people, and a happy worker is a good worker. They’re the people everyone wants to be around, and they’re the people that will continue to give everything they have for the mission.

It’s time for you to take your team out for dinner. No agenda, no talking points; just dinner. When you do, you’re going to move the dial just a little bit closer to the reason you’re all gathered in the first place: accomplishing the Jesus mission in your neighborhood, this time with a smile on your face and a little warmth in your belly.

Are you the bullet point kind of person who just wants next right steps to appreciating people?

Here are a few simple ways you can make sure your team feels valued every day in ministry.

  1. Do walks around the office, noticing everyone from the office staff to the brand new intern.
  2. Make sure every person has a specific up-ladder they can vent to without repercussion.
  3. Create fun times in the office as well as quarterly staff-building events.
  4. Spoil people. Seriously. Nothing says you notice them like an extravagant gift card to their favorite place.
  5. Thank people. When they crush it, make sure you let them know they crushed it. Sometimes a little thanks is all you need.