One of the most important things you can do at the end of a youth ministry event is compile a list of people that you need to thank!
It is beyond a basic concept, but one that is overlooked often and costly when forgotten. Take a few moments to run through the key people who helped pull off your latest youth ministry event and make sure they get a personal thank you. These few moments of your time will express so much to them in how they helped accomplish the vision and purpose of the event. I love including a quick story if I can—a story or specific name of a student helps your team see how their sacrifice, work, passion and time paid off for God’s Kingdom. Share a story of life change and how God worked!
So, start off by taking the time to compile a comprehensive list of people who helped in some capacity at your youth ministry event. No role is too big or too small. Maybe they were the point people for the event, maybe they just showed up to help with registration and then went home—write down everyone and anyone who contributed. Maybe there’s someone who helped with just the early stages of the event who would be easily forgotten. Maybe there’s someone who helped personally fund the event or a parent who gave significant time that typically would go unnoticed and unthanked. Maybe you happened to catch one of your team members in a great youth ministry moment between him or her and a student. Take the time to point out their good youth ministry instincts and encourage them to continue to do more of the same.
So, you understand the value of thanking people and now a list of people you need to contact. How do you actually thank people? To be honest, everything counts, but in my opinion, nothing beats a handwritten note. Unless there is a $5 Starbucks card inside that note. A quick thank you text message will certainly be read and appreciated. A form email sent out to the whole group is not a bad idea. But at the end of the day, a few personal, heartfelt words captured on paper … old school, I know … matter the most. I like the idea of a postcard because everyone in the house will also get to read the words of affirmation!
Take some time immediately following your next event, or even right now, to make sure you say thank you to your incredible team of youth workers. The more you say “thanks,” the more people you will then have that are willing to serve because they see how their role fits into the big picture; they know they matter in this Kingdom work!