It’s always seemed a little ironic to me that when most people are throttling down for the holidays, church staffs throttle up. This seems especially true for church leaders who are responsible for crafting worship experiences during the Christmas season. Long hours with high expectations can give way to frustration and missing out on what God may want them to experience through the very worship services they helped to create.
That’s why I think it’s vitally important for you as a church leader to show your appreciation before this season begins. Here are seven ideas on how to show your leaders and your team that you appreciate their work, and I encourage you to add your own ideas in the comments.
1. Purchase a Personalized Gift Card
By personalized, I don’t mean just putting their name on it. Find out what they really, really like, whether that’s a particular restaurant or an online store. And don’t be stingy. Buy a gift card with enough money on it that they could purchase a meal for two and not just an entree.
2. Offer Free Babysitting
If your leaders or team members have children, offer a free night of babysitting so they can have a date with their spouse. Up the ante by offering to pay for their date too.
3. Grant Time Off
If you have the power, grant them a free day. Tell them that you know how much effort and sacrifice they put in when the holidays begin, then allow them a day off before the madness begins.
4. Treat Them to Lunch
Take a small group of your leaders or team members out to lunch (on your dime). Use that time to breathe life into them and speak encouraging words over them. Keep it positive and recap all of the good things they’ve helped you accomplish over the last year.
5. Throw a Surprise Staff Appreciation Meeting
Replace your typical staff meeting with a party that celebrates your staff. Buy cake—the good kind—and invite spouses and kids.
6. Buy Books
This suggestion is more applicable to some than others, but if you know that a leader or team member is a heavy reader, find out what they’d like to learn more about and feed their reading. (If you have no idea, I’m sure an Amazon gift card of $25 or more will suffice.)
7. Pay for Further Training
It may not be the most glamorous of presents, but it shows that you care about their continued education and growth as a leader or teammember on your staff. If they need to learn technical skills, buy them a subscription to Lynda.com. Or figure out what conference they really want to attend. Or, if your church can’t afford to send them to a conference, register all of your staff for just once price for our all-new, all-online Flow Creative Arts Conference to be broadcast on April 14, 2016.
In the end, it’s not so much what you get your church leaders or church staff. It really is the thought that counts. So, right now while you’re still thinking about it, open a blank document, type the names of those you need to thank, then make a quick list of what you can buy or do for those leaders to show your thanks before the madness and merriment of the holidays arrive.