Do You Have These On Your Desk?

I took this picture at my desk a few days ago.  I keep a stack of note cards there.  I try to write at least one appreciation note a day.  In the day of digital communication, a personal, hand-written note means a lot to people.  Here's some tips for writing notes.
  • Be intentional.  I keep the cards on my desk as a reminder.  If you're not intentional, it's easy to forget in the course of a busy day.
  • Make it relational.  Express your appreciation for what they mean to you personally.
  • Thank them for who they are, not just for what they do.  Example: Instead of just saying, "thank you for teaching the 3rd grade boy's class," say, "your heart for helping kids know Jesus shines through when you teach."  This shows you value them for who they are, not just for what they do.  
  • Be specific in your appreciation.  Example:  Instead of just saying, "you did a great job in preschool," say, "I noticed how you took time to make the new little boy feel welcome by coloring with him before class started.  The extra care you showed him made an impact in that family's life."
  • Write to people outside your direct circle.  Ask your leaders for names of people in their areas that you can send a note to.  Reference the leader in the note.  Example:  "Sarah was bragging on you today.  She shared with me what an incredible heart you have for helping kids worship.  Thank you for your ministry.  You are a vital part of what God is doing in the kid's lives."
  • Write to leaders of other areas in your church.  Write a note to someone in adult ministry, student ministry, facilities team, etc.  Thank them for the impact they are having.  Be an encourager outside the "children's ministry world" as well.
  • Keep a list of who you have written.  This will help you spread the encouragement to a broader spectrum of people.
I promise you this.  If you will write notes, you will impact people's lives.  People will hang onto them.  People will come up and thank you.  People will know that you care.