My friend Steve runs Black's Barbecue in Lockhart. He has done an oustanding job running the place, which offers some great food. Blacks also happens to be the oldest barbecue restaurant in the state of Texas.
Earlier this week I had lunch with Steve and he told me he was closing early that day. When I asked why he explained that he was closing at 5:00 to take his staff to a movie. Stop-Loss came out this week and a big portion of the film was shot in Lockhart, in the street in front of Blacks. To show his appreciation to his staff, Steve decided to shut down early and take them all to see the movie - snacks, popcorn, and sodas included.
Steve's idea for his staff reinforced a lesson for me. You can never over-invest or over-appreciate a good staff...If you have people who work for you, especially volunteers in ministry (which is the case for me), they ought to be continually encouraged and shown how much they are appreciated.
When people feel appreciated they will show more effort, sacrifice more, and realize they are a big part of the team. I try to make it a priority to tell my team that I appreciate what they do to serve and lead in our ministry. I also try to do tangible things to show them. It doesn't always have to be something big...The little things sometimes mean the most.
Who on your "team" needs to know how valuable they are? Who invests in your ministry or job that needs to know how much you appreciate them? Let them know they are a valuable part of the team and watch their effort and investment soar!