Mind Your Manners and Say Thank You!
Last Tuesday, Bill Mullette-Bauer and I had the good fortune to meet with the clergy of the Crater Lake District. We met with them to start changing the culture of the church around the topic of money. In the afternoon, I asked people to come up with their most creative ideas around three areas: ask, thank, and tell (this is also the name of an excellent book by Charles R. Lane). Lots of ideas were generated – so, while it’s not exactly “creative” here is one of the best:
Write a thank you letter and insert it with each quarterly giving statement.
It’s that simple…and it’s not being done enough.
Here’s some suggestions on how to do it:
- Make it a third of a page long (easily slips into the envelope).
- Have a church member or guest write about how one of your church’s ministries has touched them. At Salem First UMC we have had thank you notes written by an adult who went on the youth mission trip and a six year-old (in his own handwriting) relating “why he liked Sunday School.”
- Insert a photograph of the person into the body of the note (it is so easy!).
- If at all possible, personally sign each note (and sign it in a color other than black so that people know it’s original and not copied).
Yes, this takes time…but the rewards are great. People feel so much better about tithing knowing where their gift is going and that it is appreciated.
More on this topic coming soon!
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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.