Valentine’s Day: Show and Share the LoveI don’t know about you, but recently I’ve noticed a plethora (that’s a super-fun word) of things shaped like hearts in the store. The way Christmas gets shoved aside so quickly, it’s sort of sad. But the hearts are pretty and they indicate that love is in the air and that means (spoiler alert) Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. And guess what? This year – I am so excited to let you know – Valentine’s Day is on a SUNDAY! Can it get any better than this? Thank you, Jesus!
Dear friends, that means you cannot wait until the night before (or the big day itself) to decide how you are going to show the love to your congregation on Valentine’s Day. You may be able to get away with that with your spouse or partner or kids, but it ain’t gonna fly with the people in the pews. So plan now. And – bonus points for this – strategize now for your spouse, partner, or kids too.
Why should you do something to celebrate love on February 14? I know I don’t need to explain this to most of you, but here goes: People want to feel liked and loved. Even the people who know they are difficult want to feel like someone cares about them. People who are alone want someone to recognize them. Heck, we all want to feel liked and loved.
There’s an added benefit to you too – the more you act like you love the people in your congregation…the more you actually will love the people in your congregation.
Showing and sharing the love with your congregation on Valentine’s Day doesn’t need to be complicated or terribly burdensome but it does take a little planning. Here are some ideas:
- Cards. Find some old-fashioned Valentine’s Day cards and write a brief note – “You are awesome!” “Thanks for all you do!” “You make a difference!” and sign it. Pass them out after the service or slip them in the bulletin.
- Candy. After the service is over and you’re greeting everyone – hand out a chocolate heart and simply say, “Happy Valentine’s Day!”
- Cutie tangerines. Hand them out with a sticker on them that says, “Thanks for being sweet!”
- Balloons in worship. Not just one or two but lots of them. Encourage people to take one home.
Here are three more ideas from Jeremy Steele that will take a little work – check ‘em out in “3 Simple Ways to Show Love This Valentine’s Day.”
Above all – this is a time for you to have fun…and be a little corny. Really. Spreading the love you feel (or want to feel) toward your congregation shouldn’t be a heavy burden. It should make you feel light, happy, and warm and fuzzy. Just remember Romans 12:9-10 from The Message, “Love from the center of who you are...Run for dear life from evil; hold on for dear life to good. Be good friends who love deeply; practice playing second fiddle.”
Here’s to loving your congregation from the center of who you are this Valentine’s Day!
* Image courtesy of Dave at Flickr.com
Cesie Delve Scheuermann is a consultant in stewardship, development, and grant writing. Over the past decade, while working as a volunteer and part-time consultant, she helped raise over $2.5 million dollars for numerous non-profit organizations. She hopes her pastor likes to pass out diamonds on Valentine’s Day. She served as the Oregon-Idaho Annual Conference Lay Leader from 2008-2012. Her position with the Conference is funded through a generous grant from the Collins Foundation; she is available to consult with churches in Oregon and Idaho. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Cesie Delve Scheuermann is consultant in grant writing and stewardship/development working with the Conference. From 2008-12 she was the Conference Lay Leader for the Oregon-Idaho Annual Conference.