According to the Bible passage Ephesians 4:12-13, a church leader “prepares God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up… to unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God.” The staff of your church serve in this capacity, and you can recognize their efforts through gifts that show respect, honor and high regard for their love of their work.
Organize an effort to flood the church staff with encouraging letters. Pick a strategic time that this would be most effective, such as during a discouraging season of ministry or when they return from a ministry trip. Purchase a large picture frame and mount a medium-sized print of each staff member at the top of the matte. Use the rest of the space for church members to write encouraging words or phrases that describe that individual. An alternative is a scrapbook that uses pictures from different points in the staff member's ministry with comments next to each picture from those who were blessed by his efforts. Work with a musician to create a memorable song that recognizes your church staff,. It can be a reworded song or sentimental lyrics that speak of their work for God. Surprise the church leaders by sharing it in a church service.
Symbolic gifts represent intangible ideas in tangible ways. Personalize a plaque by writing the staff member’s name and favorite Bible verse on it, or hang up an inspirational painting in honor of her work. Create a meaningful gag gift, such as toys or action heroes that symbolize the individual, and mount them to a block of wood. Purchase a new toilet plunger, paint it gold, glue it to a base, and write “Thank you for being a servant to us and Jesus." (1 Corinthians 4:1)
Financial gifts recognize the work church staff often do beyond their required jobs. Create a “ministry money tree” by making a large cross with strings hanging down its horizontal beams. Instruct families to tape envelopes with financial gifts or gift cards to each string. Write a Bible verse on the envelope related to what's inside, such as "Give us this day our daily bread" (Matthew 6:11) for a grocery card or "A cheerful heart is good medicine" (Proverbs 17:22) for tickets to see a comedian. A recreation center membership can help church staff increase their community ministry while investing in their physical health. Provide a mini-vacation for a staff member to invest in his marriage by obtaining gift certificates for a bed and breakfast within driving distance, or buy a family package for an amusement park all staff families can enjoy together.
Require the staff to take a paid two-month sabbatical every seven years to grow spiritually. Search for retreat centers or bed and breakfasts that offer free clergy weekends or send them to a national ministry conference. Study-based trips to the Holy Land can be free for pastors in some tour packages if you register a small group of other participants.
Acts of Service
If you're on a budget, gift your staff with acts of service that make their job easier and thank them for their spiritual commitment. Upgrade their offices with colors and decor they pick out, or create a new physical layout that gives them more space. Create a free babysitting network for church staff families with young kids to utilize on date nights.
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