Giving thanks for our many blessings is a posture we can all stand to take. Use your website and social media to show your church's thankfulness. Are you looking for some inspiration? Consider members, staff, your congregation, and youth for inspiration. There are many groups that want to express their thanks to you, the church, and to God. Let their message shine on your website and on social media platforms.
You can use any medium, yet I think that video would be most powerful. Often when we give thanks, emotion creeps into the message in profound ways. Body language, facial expressions, and tone of voice will produce an impressive effect. Something as simple as recording on a smartphone will work. For some scenarios, set up a booth where people can record their messages. Also, do not forget privacy notices and release forms.
Thanks from the Pastor
Ask your pastor to record a message thanking the congregation for their support over the past year. Use this moment to recap your church's major accomplishments for the year. Did you send out new mission trips, reinvigorate ministries, or set new records in attendance? Praise God and your people for a job well done this year. Let them know how happy and honored you are to be a pastor at their church.
Thanks from the Staff
Your church staff has many blessings to share as well. This is a great opportunity to let those that work "behind the scenes" share the spotlight. Secretarial, janitorial, and financial staff are among the many that keep the church running without much praise. Give them time to thank the church and God for their blessings. Their personalities will shine through. Their role within the church will become more public. And the congregation's appreciation of their duties will grow.
Thanks from the Congregation
Your members are thankful for a great many things in their lives. Give them an opportunity to share with the rest of the church and the world. Set up a station where members can record a message. Use a timer to keep it messages to a certain length. If video is not viable, create a landing page and form where they can submit their stories in advance. Feature these on your website, or showcase them before your church services. Regardless, let your congregations' voice be heard; as they have many things to recjoice over.
Thanks from the Mission Field
If your church supports missions, I can guarantee they are thankful for your support. This is a great time to allow them to express their thanks for prayer, support, resources, and finances. Messages such as these will bolster support for their causes and let the congregation know their contributions are appreciated.
Thanks from Your Youth
Fewer things are cuter and truer than the words of a child. Your youth ministries are a wealth of content. Ask children to write down what they are thankful for. Better yet, record their responses. Some may be comical, as they thank God for having pumpkin pie. Others may be real tear-jerkers as they thank God for keeping a parent in the military safe while they serve overseas. Regardless, if you exhaust other areas, ask your children for input. Their honesty and ingenuity will amaze you every time.
Echo your church's praise and thanksgiving on your website. Create content that is compelling and helpful. Allow your pastor, missionaries, members, and/or youth to express their thanks to the church and to God. Of course the best medium for this is also the most time consuming; video. Yet if this is not an option, audio and text are certainly acceptable alternatives. If you must go with these, get at least a photo of the person. Putting a face to a story will help add validity and emotion. Then watch as your church community grows in its posture of Thanksgiving.
Image courtesy of Donald Cook.