Guest Post by

Allison Williams

Pinterest has always been an excellent site to hit if you are lacking a three-ingredient crockpot recipe or need to learn how to tie a scarf 50 different ways, but it is also a treasure-trove of youth ministry goodness.

We are in a calling that is often thankless. If you are like me, you don’t need a parade or a billboard downtown in recognition of your work, but it would be nice if the parent that’s three hours late would at least say, “Thank you.” But this is our life — for volunteers, it’s a choice. Why would we ever neglect to thank them? Our ministry rests on their strong shoulders. Cared for volunteers will better care for our students.

So every now and then, do a little trinket appreciation for your people. Pinterest has ideas, shopping lists, and even pre-made printables to attach already made for you! You are a twenty minute trip to Target and and half an hour of assembly away from an easy ministry win with your people!

Some awesome phrases to type into the Pinterest Search Bar are:

  • Volunteer Encouragement
  • Teacher Appreciation
  • Teacher Gifts
  • Printable Thank You
  • Affordable Appreciation

In December, I was feeling discouraged in ministry. It’s hard for me to alter how I feel, but feeling down always motivates me to do a heart check with the people that serve my kids. I logged on Pinterest, found a card that says, “You rock my socks off.” I recreated a simple design like it in the Canva app and added the message, “Thank you for serving our kids and students at RCC Youth.” I ordered $3 fuzzy winter socks from Target, wrapped them up in a cellophane bag from the Dollar Tree and left them for my female volunteers. It’s been months, and I still have someone walk up to me every week and excitedly whisper, “I’ve got my socks on!” Such a simple and important win in ministry.

My network just took our kids to a winter conference. A few days later, we were recapping the weekend over lunch and lamenting about how tired we were. One of the guys agreed, but then said that he got up early the Monday after and delivered coffee to all of his volunteers’ workplaces since they didn’t take the day off like we got to. What?! That’s brilliant! We have to prioritize caring for our people.

Log onto Pinterest, add volunteer encouragement purchases into your budget, and make this an active item on your to-do list several times a year. A beautiful part of our role is investing in the people that directly shepherd our students.