We always give thanks to God for all of you and mention you in our prayers, constantly remembering before our God and Father your work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.1 Thess. 1:2

It is vitally important to thank people and to celebrate gifts of time, talent and money early and often. Doing so affirms and encourages generosity as a natural and faithful response to the Original Giver. When thanking, be sure to be as personal and specific as possible.

There are many opportunities for thanking people for their financial gifts. Take advantage of them all! Some ideas include:

• Send a hand-written thank you letter (preferably from the pastor) upon receipt of each pledge

• Issue quarterly statements that gratefully acknowledge gifts to date and report on the life-changing ministries of the church that the giver is helping to make possible

• When special gifts are received, write thank you letters that acknowledge the monetary gift, as well as the meaningful and lasting connection between the giver and the faith community

Don’t forget to thank people for their gifts of time and talent as well! As members of the body of Christ, God has gifted us in different ways and calls us to use these gifts to build up the beloved community. This is good news that ought to be celebrated. Consider the following ideas:

• Commission teachers and other leaders during worship

• Lift up people’s ministries in prayer, newsletters, bulletin boards, etc.

• Encourage the pastor to write a few personal notes each week to thank members for their leadership and service

• Hold a periodic celebration of gifts – perhaps a lunch or dinner - to thank givers and congregational leaders of all kinds

While we’re at it, we’d like to give thanks to God for YOUR faithful service and generosity toward your local church, which overflows to the world.

Click here for some great information from Luther Seminary's newsletter,  "Growing Giving Forward By Saying Thank You"