Ideas to Honor Your Church Volunteers
A church volunteer is a key component of any ministry. From members volunteering their time to prepare meals, teach Sunday school, build ramps, mow the church lawn, assisting in vacation Bible school to organizing church events, members sharing their talents and time help build a strong church community.
As church volunteers can attest, sharing one’s time, resources and talents leads to many intangible benefits.
However, it’s always nice to acknowledge and thank those faithful volunteers who help make a difference in your church family and community.
Ways to recognize and thank the people who keep your church running.
Here are some of our favorite ways churches and organizations have recognized their ministry volunteers. These ideas are as simple as a shout-out in a printed publication to as big as a special celebration. Choose the option that works best for you and your church.
1. Thank volunteers in your church newsletter or bulletins.
Create lists of volunteers to thank, including Sunday school teachers, ushers, acolytes, greeters, newsletter contributors, and more in your church communications, such as your church newsletter or worship bulletin.
To save space in long lists, put names on one line and separate them with a design element.
2. Give your volunteers special volunteer gear.
One way to thank volunteers is to create special swag or goodies that only members who volunteer will receive at the end of an event or throughout the year.
Each item could include your church or event logo and/or a Bible verse or words of affirmation.
Here are some possible gift ideas that are sure to be a hit!
- Baseball cap or visor.
- A special T-shirt, sweatshirt, or hoodie. We would highly recommend getting sizes from each member to ensure they will fit!
- Custom notebooks or other office supplies.
- Canvas totes or reusable shopping bags.
- Stadium blankets.
- Fun, fuzzy socks.
- Water bottles, mugs, or tumblers.
- Keychains or key lanterns.
- Pots or plant growing kits.
- Christmas ornaments.
- Books or special Bibles.
3. Hand out “punny” candy or gift card ideas.
Who doesn’t love a good pun? And when you combine a pun with candy or gift cards – you’re sure to have an appreciation gift that all church members will love.
Some of our favorite “punny” volunteer appreciation ideas to get you started:
- “We donut know what we would do without you” attached to a mason jar of mini-donuts or gift card to a local donut shop.
- “You are a lifesaver” attached to a roll of candy lifesavers.
- “Thank you for being one sweet volunteer” attached to a bag of candy.
- “Let’s taco-bout how awesome you are” attached to a Mexican restaurant gift card or a recipe for taco soup and taco seasoning.
- “Volunteers plant seeds of love that help countless hearts grow” attached to a bag of seeds.
- “We need s’more volunteers like you!” attached to a s’more kit of marshmallows, graham crackers and chocolate.
- “Thanks a latte” attached to a coffee shop gift card.
4. Send personalized thank-you letters.
Have your senior pastor, volunteer coordinator, church leadership, or a ministry leader that headed up the team, write a personalized, handwritten thank-you letter or message to each volunteer. This note can be on its own or given with a special gift from one of the lists above.
5. Have a dessert bar or food truck for volunteers.
Invite volunteers on a Sunday morning after service to have dessert and coffee after fellowship. This could be done once a year or several times throughout the year, specifically after larger events or church.
If the weather permits, consider hiring a food truck to come to your church so it truly is a treat for everyone with little to no pickup afterward!
6. Hold a celebration dinner for all the volunteers each year.
This can be a nice, catered dinner with special music or a special speaker. It doesn’t need to be anything too fancy, just a nice dinner showing appreciation to volunteers for their many acts of kindness and service to your church or ministry.
At any point throughout the dinner, ask your pastor, children’s ministry leader, youth leader or others in church leadership to say a few words about the importance of volunteering.
The whole is greater.
When recognizing and honoring our volunteers, it’s always nice to remind individuals of the true reason why getting involved in your church or community is so important: Every time we have a chance to serve another, we honor God. And when we go out into the community to host a family day or vacation Bible school, it’s another opportunity to show Jesus Christ to the lost.
Volunteering not only helps the people we serve. It also has surprising benefits for the volunteer. Serving others builds social and relational skills, increases self-confidence, and boosts physical health. Studies show that volunteering can even ease chronic pain and heart disease.
We all benefit when we do good and follow Jesus’ example of serving.
A Volunteer’s Prayer
I thank thee, Lord, as a volunteer:
For the chance to serve again this year;
To give of myself in some small way
To those not blessed as I each day.
My thanks for health of mind and soul
To aid me ever toward my goal;
For eyes to see the good in all,
A hand to extend before a fall.
For legs to go where the need is great
Learning to love — forgetting to hate;
For ears to hear and heart to care
When someone’s cross is hard to bear.
A smile to show my affection true,
With energy plenty the task to do;
And all I ask, dear Lord, if I may,
Is to serve you better, day by day.
We love art, are passionate about helping churches create professional-looking communications and are a fun bunch of folks. With an in-tune creative director and a rock-solid team of artists, we will provide the art you’ll want to use, plus templates, puzzles and extras that make your job easier.