By Matthew Schultz
Philippians 1:3 (NLT) says, “Every time I think of you, I give thanks to my God.”
They quietly show up with their families for worship. They are there when you need a little extra muscle for setting up this year’s Christmas pageant set. They show up on Saturdays to reset the tables in the fellowship area after the mom’s-day-out ministry on Thursday, and even break out the chef’s hat for the Easter pancake breakfast or the church family picnic.
They are the men of your church—and I’d bet this year’s coffee-and-donut budget that you’re thankful for them every time you think of all they do as followers of Jesus.
Unfortunately, saying “thank you” to guys can be a little bit difficult. Too often, guys are a bit reluctant to receive the thanks and praise of others. After all, they’re just “doing what they’re supposed to do,” right?
So as you think about all the special things that you do for the Christmas season don’t forget to make the guys feel special too! Let them know how much they mean to your ministry. How do you show the guys that you appreciate them? While no two men are alike, there are a few tried-and-true ideas that might help get your creative juices flowing:
Food: It’s true—the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach! So go with it! Have a special “Thanks, Guys” time of fellowship before and after church one Sunday. Bring in those special donuts from the crazy donut shop in town. Order breakfast sandwiches and hand them out to the guys as they walk in. If you know that your guys really love to barbecue, you could order a few cases of a delicious barbecue sauce that’s unavailable in your area. If you’re really feeling ambitious, hire a caterer for a thank-you breakfast (or brunch) for all the guys—no cooking or clean up, just piling on “Thank you!” helpings.
Time: There might be no greater gift than time, especially during the Christmas season. So why not say “thank you” for all the time the guys have spent supporting the ministry over the year by giving them some time back? Have your youth and children’s ministries host an event for the kids so that dads and grandfathers can have a little time to themselves (this could also double as that extra practice that the kids need for their Christmas songs every year).
Awards and Gifts: Some guys love having a daily reminder of how much they are appreciated. You can give them that daily pick-me-up by handing out “greatest guys in the world” certificates, “thanks for being epic” socks, or little hand-written notes thanking them for all that they do.
Share Their Stories: Some of the most amazing things happen in ministry out of the spotlight. A fantastic way to say “thank you” is to share men’s stories with the congregation. It will inspire others to join in as well.
While there are many more great ways that you can say thanks, there is one that stands head and shoulders above the rest—your connection. Develop relationships with your men. Take them to coffee. Get to know them. Make it a point to find ways to connect with the guys just to say, “Thank you.”
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