6 High-Impact Tips for Showing Appreciation to Church Volunteers

Volunteer teams fuel churches. Imagine what would happen this coming weekend if your entire team didn’t show up. Church would really stink.

People gravitate toward where they feel valued. If you aren’t taking the time to show and tell your volunteers that you value the contributions they make to the church, they will drift away from serving with you. Unexpressed appreciation isn’t felt or understood. You love your team … find ways to tell them!

  • thankyouThank Significant Others // Rather than writing another thank-you note to a volunteer, write to their spouse or kids. Brag about what an amazing job they do on the team. Thank their significant other for the part they play in allowing this star volunteer to serve.
  • Food Works // Next time your volunteers get together, make sure there’s food available for them. Food is a secret weapon in your appreciation system. It has been proven that we associate positive emotions with the people providing our meals. I’m convinced the cost of not feeding our volunteers is greater than what we spend on food.
  • Call Outs // When you get your team together in a huddle, call out a couple volunteers for their amazing contributions to the mission. You’d be amazed how far a little peer recognition goes. Public appreciation translates into private loyalty. Identify what the team member did, have the rest of the team applaud them and then pray for the team member.
  • Remember Milestones // What would happen if you created a system for remembering people’s birthdays, anniversaries and other important dates? The dentist remembers to send patients a birthday card every year … could we?
  • Prepare Them Well // Often one of the best ways you can show appreciation for your volunteers is making their serving experience a quality one! Do you let your team know what to expect every time they serve? Could you email your team a few days in advance with information about what’s happening this weekend at your church? Looping your team in on where things are going helps them serve better and shows that you respect them!
  • Social Media Profile // Take some time to brag about your team on your favorite social media channel. Point out specific individuals and the contributions they make. The shareable nature of this sort of appreciation means that not only will the person you’re thanking see it so will their social network.

How have people expressed their appreciation in ways that meant a lot to you? Leave some ideas in the comments!



  1. Great reminders, Rich! I would like to give a shout out to a cool thing the leader of our Liquid NB campus youth ministry did. During our huddle he went around and asked us what coin we thought represented us. He then gave us the coin that he thought represented us and told the group how he valued each of us as part of the team. He then challenged us to give a student a coin that day to remind them how much we appreciate them. I think he almost had me in tears (in a good way!) during the huddle and then I had a great moment with a student afterwards. One of my favorite and most memorable days!

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Rich Birch
Rich Birch is one of the early multi-site church pioneers in North America. He led the charge in helping The Meeting House in Toronto to become the leading multi-site church in Canada with over 5,000+ people in 18 locations. In addition, he served on the leadership team of Connexus Church in Ontario, a North Point Community Church Strategic Partner. He has also been a part of the lead team at Liquid Church - a 5 location multisite church serving the Manhattan facing suburbs of New Jersey. Liquid is known for it’s innovative approach to outreach and community impact. Rich is passionate about helping churches reach more people, more quickly through excellent execution.His latest book Church Growth Flywheel: 5 Practical Systems to Drive Growth at Your Church is an Amazon bestseller and is design to help your church reach more people in your community.