Do You Appreciate Me?

Do You Appreciate Me? is one of those questions that many people ask inside their head, but often times don’t verbally communicate.  This is true in marriages, friendships, professional working relationships, sports… the list goes on and on.  I believe this is a question that runs through the minds of volunteers as well; those who are volunteering their time to (blank) cause. 

Do You Appreciate Me?

I want to specifically speak to that question as it relates to the people volunteering in churches around the country.  Tonight we are having our once a year volunteer appreciation party at all of the Campuses, called the “Big Show” and it will be off the hook.  Each campus will uniquely make their event happen; however the central theme for this year is HERO.  We love to appreciate our volunteers, they are our Heroes and Jesus is our incomparable Hero.  My buddy Scott Rodgers has been heading up the “Big Show” this year and has done a great job.

We clearly understand that our volunteers are serving because they believe in the mission… To Lead People To Become Fully Devoted Followers of Christ.  Volunteers are not serving to be appreciated; however they need to know that what they do matters and that they are appreciated.  Let’s talk through some things we do and can do to appreciate our volunteers: handwritten notes, saying “Thank You,” taking them to lunch, remembering events (b-days, anniv.), keeping them in the-know, making their recommendations happen, big events, a phone call, allowing them to lead, spending time, recognition, atta-boys…  There is a great book called “1001 Ways To Reward Employees” that I used when working in corrections; it has some good ideas.

I would love to hear from those of you who are on staff at a church, volunteer at a church, are thinking about volunteering at a church, have never volunteered at a church… I want to hear from everyone. 

  • In your opinion what makes you or others who volunteer feel most appreciated?
  • What are some unique volunteer appreciation methods or events that you have been a part of?
  • Am I just blowing smoke… do people really ask the question “Do You Appreciate Me?”

For those of you who serve for the cause of Christ… Thank You!

  • Maybe it’s just Dirk and me, but we really don’t need any appreciation…because, as you said, we don’t serve to be appreciated.

    But hey….we’ll be at the Big Show enjoying the great fun tonight!

  • In the time I have volunteered in LifeKids (about 3 months), I have received 2 notes in the mail and many text messages from Jessica. It really means a lot to see that someone spent a few minutes to think about you. It really means a lot!!!

  • i just LOVE the friends we have made serving at the nwokc campus and that is enough for me!! It is like an extended family i never had. And watching the change in the students- it is baby steps – but it is steps!!Those 2 thing are where i feel appericated. Not once has volunteering felt ike”work”.

    Can not wait for the Big Show!! We are ready for some fun!!

  • jwmaxwell

    Nothing says “You Rock!” more than a gift card from ‘bucks!

    In all seriousness, I have been involved in ministry for a little over 10 years, and have not felt more connected than when I attended ‘The Big Show’ for the first time a couple of years ago. I took away a rekindled mindset that night. Yea, we already knew the purpose of why we do what we do, but getting together as one group just seems to rejuvenate the passion to reach others for Christ. From week to week, I think we get caught up in the action of what we do, and the fire that we have goes from a huge bonfire to a little campfire. The Big Show was like condensing a day of camp into a couple of hours. Or another example might be some teenager..or youth pastor (we have all done it), decided to throw some gasoline on the campfire.
    For me, the focus wasn’t about feeling appreciated, but it was about coming together as a Body of Christ in an effort to refocus our direction as a church.

  • Pingback: Volunteers Are Different. «

  • I can’t wait to hear everyone’s ideas. Volunteer appreciation is something new to me (having been raised in a Baptist Church, you just did it. No questions asked…it was your duty as a Christian). Then when Marc and I begin being “leaders” we started seeing it from a different perspective. Its a lot of work, and sometimes you are few in number. We couldn’t do anything on a grand scale but after each event he acknowleged those who helped, gave out small gifts when they least exspected it. Thanked them in private (as well as public) and at the bottom of his memo each month for our staff meetings he wrote “Thank You for all you do for Christ”.

    Now that we are at a new church and have a bit more say so in things (lol), we plan to host our first “Volunteer Appreciation” Event. I am very excited because most of the time in traditional church the person that is most reconized is the pastor. As the new Pastor and “First Lady” (augh) we get to change that.

  • I agree with Cyndi.
    I have been used to the “it’s what you should be doing” situation.
    I don’t serve God to get applause from man, but it is nice to hear some one say “thank you”.
    Sounds like the Big Show is off the hook!!

  • …I like to see the smiles and the excitement of those walking through the door…if I can add to their experience…just a pleasure to be a part…called to serve! and enjoy it…I feel the appreciation…

  • #1 thing to make me feel appreciated: have work to be done when I show up at the appointed time.

    I love to serve, but I hate when I’m told to be there for work and there is nothing for me to do. I feel used, not appreciated. If you don’t need me in that area, let’s find a place you can use me – I don’t care *what* I do, I just want to serve my creator.

  • Hey Scott, I think you should apply to be the guest blogger at Tavis Smiley’s 2009 State of the Black Union conference. If you win, he’ll fly you out there and you’ll get to interview everyone from Dr. Cornel West to Danny Glover.

    Here’s the link to it:

  • Knowing we are part of a team (connected to others who are serving) and also connected to something bigger. Example: I had the privilege of coordinating a large group of volunteers at a church which was opening a newly built auditorium. Several weeks before it opened, we were granted “special permission” and gathered several volunteer teams involved in communication to meet inside the uncompleted auditorium. We honored them by giving them a “first look” at their new serving venue.

    There were tech, camera operators, drama team, even the seniors who stuff the bulletins. They met each other and got a picture of how what they did fit with what the others did. And they all got a vision of how what they did together would have an impact on those 3,000 empty-and-waiting seats. It turned out to be very moving. It was awesome!

  • There are so many talented volunteers at our church. Well trained. Did I say well trained? I meant to say, they are well trained. People know what to do, they are all in and pumped to do a great job. Never seen a slacker. You might forget how hard people are working because it almost looks easy. So take a second to say thank you or to notice something specific that they are good at. Something specific means you actually noticed THEM and makes it a little more personal. That’s what I like anyway.

    Our church takes us out once a year for a volunteer appreciation night at a baseball game. Fun, fun, fun!

  • Scott Williams

    I appreciate all of your comments!

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