5 Ways to Care for Your Planting Team this Thanksgiving

At this point in the year, someone on your team likely needs encouragement. Here are five simple ways to care for your leadership team this Thanksgiving.

While the holidays are the most wonderful time of year for some, others on our teams enter this season with fatigue and frustration from how the year unfolded.

Disappointments vary from person to person. Maybe your church planting team or leadership team didn’t meet their goals, or the person they have been sharing the gospel with is still indifferent to Christ. Perhaps the year was relationally hard, or they’ve had a season of spiritual dryness.

Regardless of the scenario, at this point in the year, our leaders usually need reminding of their value and unique contribution to our church and the Kingdom of God.

Here are five simple ways to care for your leadership team this Thanksgiving and holiday season:

  1. Share a Thanksgiving meal together.

Mix up your weekly or monthly rhythm, and instead of having your meeting, host a Thanksgiving meal for your team. Provide space to enjoy one another’s company and reflect on what you’re thankful for each team member.

  1. Show gratitude in a way that fits your style.

Take a few minutes to individually thank each of your team members in a way that fits your personality. Whether it’s a thank you note, text message, email, video message or phone call, your team members want to know they are valuable and the work they do for the church and the kingdom matters. A simple gesture of gratitude goes a long way.

  1. Bake (or buy) something for your next team meeting.

Everyone loves to eat, and the holiday season is known — sometimes notoriously — for its sweet comfort foods.

Showing up at a team meeting and being greeted by a plate of cookies or everyone’s favorite snack goes a long way. If baking isn’t quite your thing or you have leaders who work at home or commute to an office, have a treat or snack delivered during the day through a third-party service.

  1. Give gift cards to a local coffee shop or restaurant.

 Support a local coffee shop or restaurant by buying gift cards for your staff. This is a great way to encourage your team to support small businesses and to get to know business owners in your community.

  1. Create a memory book of your church plant’s major milestones.

The church planting journey holds various peaks and valleys. It takes intentionality to pause and reflect on what God has brought you through as a church and where he has led you.

To commemorate the year, gather pictures from major church milestones throughout the year, and create a booklet for your leaders that walks through your year as a church.

What were defining moments? What did God do in the life of your church as a result? This is a great way to remember God’s faithfulness — and reflect with thankfulness — before the new year begins.

Showing any form of gratitude requires time and intentionality, but you won’t regret making the extra effort to show care.

No matter what you do, a little bit of gratitude goes a long way. Don’t underestimate how much some form of ‘thank you’ can mean to your team this Thanksgiving.

Published November 16, 2021