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.