Saying “Thank You”: Get Your Leaders Involved
U2 is one of my favorite bands. If you ever have an opportunity to see them in concert…drop everything and go. They give the show of a lifetime. I love them because many of their songs have a strong spiritual element to them. (Plus, I’d do anything to get Bono’s picture in my blog, he’s just that awesome.) So when I began thinking about this week’s column, one of U2’s songs popped into my head. (Is that a Holy Spirit moment? You be the judge.)
From “Sometimes You Can’t Make It On Your Own”:
Listen to me now - I need to let you know - You don't have to go it alone…
And I say, “Amen, Bono.” You don’t have to do everything on your own…including writing thank you notes.
Not long ago, I asked our Administrative Council to write notes of gratitude to people who are faithful church pledgers. I asked each person to claim five names. I provided addresses, note cards, and envelopes. I offered to pay postage too. And here’s the sample letter that I encouraged them to rewrite so that it was personalized:
This evening (or last night) at Ad Council we said a prayer of thanksgiving for you. Thank you for the many ways you share your gifts of time, talent, and treasure with First Church.
Your gifts are making a difference in Salem and throughout the world.
And, we did say a prayer of thanksgiving for the many generous ways these people had blessed the church with their time, talent, and treasure. That to me was as important, if not more important than writing the notes.
The good news is people loved getting a hand-written thank you note. Many were surprised that anyone would think to write them. Others quickly wanted to let us know that they hadn’t done anything to deserve thanks. No one said, “please don’t ever send me another thank you letter.” They were thankful that we thanked them.
So take inspiration from U2 – you don’t have to go it alone. In fact, sometimes it’s better if you don’t. There’s so much gratitude to share…let others in on the blessing of saying “thank you.”
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 nearly $2 million dollars for numerous non-profit organizations. 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. You can reach her at email@example.com.
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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.