Giving thanks to God for all the good things he has done is something that should pour out of the heart of every believer. Parish leaders and clergy have a unique opportunity to inspire and teach gratitude.
Scripture points us to this act of worship in the Psalms. “Come, let us sing joyfully to the LORD; cry out to the rock of our salvation. Let us come before him with a song of praise, joyfully sing out our psalms. For the LORD is the great God, the great king over all gods.” – Psalms 95:1-3
Finding ways for your ministry to encourage people to overflow with thankfulness doesn’t have to be strenuous. Here are just a few ways you can focus on teaching gratitude this season.
A Couple Things to Keep in Mind
Not everyone thinks exactly like you and responds in the same way as you do. To lead your parishioners well, it’s important to remember these truths because God created every person uniquely. Teaching gratitude requires knowledge of different ways people can respond in thankfulness, so all people feel comfortable expressing their feelings to the Lord.
It is also important to note that in order to inspire gratitude, people must know about your gratitude campaign and get on board.
Methods of Teaching Gratitude
Acts of Service
Performing acts of service is a great way for people to express their gratitude for all the Lord has done in their life. Giving back to families in need or to organizations who are making an impact can provide your parish leaders with a strategic way to rejoice in the Lord. It also encourages others to see the goodness of God’s grace by receiving the act of service. Here is a list of acts of service to get you started:
- Serving at a local soup kitchen
- Making meals for the elderly
- Cleaning the house of a family in need
- Starting a meal train for a family who has a new baby
- Encourage Quality Time to Teach Gratitude
Quality time is a great way to call those in your ministry together to teach them how to be grateful. Set aside time for people to share with each other about the things God has done and rejoice with each other about each thing. Encourage them to go out and find ways to spend quality time with their family members and friends to rejoice in the Lord, even if it’s a hard season. Often, people need to find the positive hand of God in their life if they are going through a rough season, and this is one way you can point them back to Christ.
Use Words of Affirmation to Teach Gratitude
Even though it might seem simple, words of affirmation are great ways to encourage your parishioners to be thankful. One way to teach gratitude is by giving people a list of Thanksgiving Bible verses to read back to the Lord. Repeating God’s truth back to God reminds each believer of the deep truth scripture holds for us. You can even encourage your members to write these truths out and give it to others in your parish or community. Here’s a list of Bible references to get you started.
- 1 Chronicles 16:34
- Ezra 3:11
- Psalm 7:17
- Psalm 100:4
- Jeremiah 30:19
- 1 Corinthians 1:4
- Ephesians 5:4
- Philippians 4:6
- 1 Thessalonians 5:18
Give Gifts to Teach Gratitude
Making small gifts that have Bible verses about gratitude attached to them is another strategic way parishioners can show their gratitude. Here’s a list of ways to use these gifts:
- Hand out small gifts to each person in your parish
- Provide necessities to those in need in your community
- Serve families with whatever gift they may need in whatever season they are in (elderly couples, new families, families who just lost a job, etc.)
If you try any of these ideas, we’d love to hear from you. Contact us and let us know how it goes!