Happy Thanksgiving! As America concentrates on this admiral quality this week, may we as the Church demonstrate and communicate biblical gratitude so that it permeates our lives.
You’re either known for gratitude or you’re known for narcissistic undertones. Where you subtly communicate how much you’ve accomplished. Alone.
Here are 5 ways that a church, a Pastor, a ministry leader, a believer can effectively communicate thankfulness to the body of believers around us.
- Make it about God and them, not about you. This is the heart of it. True christian gratitude must point to God and others even when leaders often feel like they’re clearly ahead of their crowd motivating them to action. “Together we can” rather than “look where I/we brought you.” Be careful of the language you regularly use. Personal pronouns are best avoided in website, social media, and sermons — unless you’re using them in a transparency revelation that will endear yourself to your congregation.
- Say it when you don’t have to. Often leading up to Thanksgiving, or before a big request, gratitude becomes the introduction. Biblical thankfulness should always be the foundation of all church communication. We deserve death but through God’s enormous grace, we enjoy life. Worship is the outcome of thankfulness!
- Show it, don’t say it. This is the same as putting faith to work (James 2). Concepts that are difficult to see must be accompanied with action or people will become skeptical of our words. Authenticity that our community is looking for must be practiced so that they’ll accept our words.
- Listen enough that they know it. Engagement is a buzzword in church communications today. Want it in your church? Then you must listen. Sure, a sermon isn’t the best time to listen, however even during that important service time, leaders must be aware of the reactions from their congregation. Then use your website, social media, and even foyer time, to ask questions. And listen! If people aren’t speaking and engaging back with you, it’s a sign of distrust. We want to communicate with those we trust and love.
- Start in the parking lot but extend to the pew. Often, we have greeters in the parking area or front of the church. That’s important! Use them to tell people you’re thankful for their attendance and for them. But carefully extend this gratitude inside the church. Many times, someone gets past the guest services line, and the gratitude and fellowship isn’t felt. Leaders must demonstrate how to show gratitude so that it’ll be emulated in the pews.
I’m grateful for each of you. Thank you for following me, reading my materials, and practicing the principles of effective church communications. God is good. All the time.