Celebrating Success


Volunteers are BUSY — it’s getting harder and harder to get everyone together for training and encouragement. Brian Bierenga, the Children & Youth Ministry Coordinator at Brookside CRC uses weekly email/messaging to encourage his youth team. Every Thursday his leaders count on hearing from him. His formula is simple: a summary of what’s happening on Sunday, something that points to the ministry’s vision, and a success story from the previous week.  

That last part is my favorite. It’s a little reminder that what we do matters. Kids are encountering Christ, kids are growing in faith, kids are being shaped by God — and we get to be part of it!

How do you use email, Facebook, or messaging to encourage your leaders?

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Thanks for sharing Brian's email format--this is just the direction I was looking for regarding the biweekly email I send to all of our teachers, subs, and assistants. I love introducing celebration to an email that has felt stuck in the information and encouragement rut. This adds a deeper dimension to my communication, turning everyone's attention for a minute to the audience, and not just to the author and necessary program/admin info. 

Now I'll share something on this topic: one tool I've found very valuable in creating a biweekly email is Mailchimp (http://www.mailchimp.com). It's an email/marketing service that is free for use with small lists of people, for which our small church qualifies. I most appreciate the intuitive interface, frequent offers of "help" with tasks, and easy access to good graphics, interesting color schemes, and choices in layout. Using mailchimp has taken my group email out of the text-only world and into the graphics-rich communication format that so many of us now expect. Bonus: It also allows me to track how many recipients open the emails I send, which has been instrumental in closing loops with folks who are inconsistently reading the messages I send to everyone. 

Thanks for sharing that tip, Michelle! I know organizations use Mailchimp, but I didn't realize it could work for churches. Great idea!