This post is releasing on Thanksgiving Day 2010, a day when we traditionally reflect on the blessings we have enjoyed throughout the year. As you are enjoying turkey and dressing and time spent with loved ones, don’t forget to say thanks to the people who volunteer their time every week to teach God’s Word!
If you think back to the last time you were in a worship service, you probably applauded for the choir, praise team, or special vocalist. It’s nice to appreciate the hard work of people who lead us in worship. But think about what’s happening in the hallways and classrooms of your Sunday School! When was the last time you saw parents picking up their children from class, applauding their child’s teacher for a great morning of teaching? When was the last time you heard a lot of “attaboys” given to an adult teacher who brought a particularly meaningful Bible study experience to his or her class? Get the picture? Most of the time our Sunday School teachers have a thankless job, yet they show up week after week to teach the Bible. God bless them! Here are some ways you can bless them and say thanks:
1) Honor them at an annual banquet – set aside one night a year to honor them for their dedication, preparation, and hard work as teachers. Pull out all the stops and provide them with the best meal and entertainment your church can afford.
2) Plan a teacher appreciation week – if your church has a limited budget, don’t despair! Just get creative and invite your members to show appreciation to their children’s teachers and their adult teachers. Suggest they give them cards, letters, or gifts. I’ve done this before, and it was not unusual to see teachers leaving church with armloads of “stuff”! They really felt appreciated.
3) Ask your pastor to preach an appreciation message – what a great way to call attention to the ministry of teaching! Spend an entire Sunday sermon focused on the importance of biblical teaching in the church, and honor those who give so much of their time and energy to teaching God’s Word. Invite others to join them and use this Sunday to begin recruiting new leaders.
4) Words of affirmation – write a note of appreciation to one or two teachers each week. Do this year round…there’s no reason to wait for the Thanksgiving season to honor your teachers.
Everyone likes being thanked for a job well done. When you deal with volunteer leaders, you don’t have salaries and bonuses with which to reward them, but you can use some of the ideas above to help teachers feel loved and appreciated for their hard work.
Got an idea you’ve used to show appreciation? Leave us a comment so others can benefit from your good work!