How do you care for your volunteers? They give their time, energy and other resources to minister to this next generation alongside you. How do you show your appreciation?

Many times, volunteers do not feel valued because they aren’t receiving appreciation in ways that makes sense to them.

One way is to understand their love language. While love languages are usually discussed in the context of marriage, its principles can be adapted to giving and receiving  appreciation. Note that the receiving is as important as the giving! (See for a summary about love languages.)

By understanding your volunteers’ love languages, you can adapt your demonstrations of appreciation in ways that makes the most sense to them. Here are some ways to approach this:

  1. Take time to learn about love languages yourself (if you don’t know) and teach these (if necessary) to your volunteers. Then find out what their love languages are…just ask them!
  2. Schedule regular opportunities to show appreciation to each volunteer in his/her  love language e.g. after a major event.
  3. Keep your eye out for other opportunities to demonstrate that appreciation. For example, if a person’s language is “words of affirmation”, send a text when the Holy Spirit prompts you. If someone’s  language is “gifts”, keep an eye out for something that they would appreciate receiving.

While it may take some time to know and relate to each person’s love language, your demonstration of appreciation will be better received. After all, we are to care for our brothers and sisters in Christ. Let’s show it in ways that makes the most sense to them.