As a small groups minister, each year at this time, I’d begin thinking about what gift I might give to my coaches and leaders to say thank you and to let them know how much I appreciate them. Here are a couple things I’ve learned over the years and a few ideas for you.
- Whatever you do, be sure your gift communicates that you care enough about them that you thought about each one of them.
- I had a large number of group leaders, so I couldn’t be extravagant, but I always sent a nice Christmas card (not the $3 boxed set of 100 cards!) to each leader with a personal note in each one, thanking them for their ministry, letting them know I was praying for them (mentioning specific things where I could), and wishing them a great Christmas season. This will take some time and effort, but it is well worth it!
- I gave my leadership team, coaches, and some of my special leaders a gift card to a store I knew they’d really like. At times I’d also add a small trinket (like a candy bar or some other inexpensive item) that I knew for sure they liked. Of course, in order to know what kinds of personalize items they like, you must spend time with these leaders throughout the year! I also personally delivered these gifts the week before Christmas. I called them up beforehand and arranged a time when I could stop by their office or home to drop off the gift and personally thank them for their service and give them their gift.
- If you have less than about 20 small group leaders (which I’ve had at each church where I’ve served–before each ministry grew), then do #3 for these leaders. Perhaps some of them will someday be part of your leadership team or team of coaches!
- Take this opportunity to invest into them, not only as individuals but as servant leaders. Buy each leader a book that will help him or her be more effective in leading his or her group. On the title page of the book, write a short, personal note thanking them for their ministry and letting them know you bought this book to invest into them and their leadership.
- The Pocket Guide to Burnout-Free Small Group Leadership – This book is a perfect gift for leaders because of its compact size, small price tag, and content geared toward helping leaders be effective in their ministry without burning out. This book is only $5.99 each and you can get quantity discounts of between 10-35% off that price!
- I’m a Leader … Now What? – This book was written particularly for new group leaders. It’s written in an easy-to-read “Small Group Help Guides” format. New leaders can learn from the best small group leader ever (that’s Jesus, not me!) how to lead an effective, fruit-bearing small group.
- Small Group Vital Signs – This is one of my newest books, and I think it’s a great gift for anyone involved in your small groups ministry, because it will help them make changes in their groups in order to become more healthy. Healthy groups grow and multiply which is what every leader wants! This book also has great quantity discounts available. Check out the web site for more information.