In my world, as soon as the calendar flips to November the word ‘Thanksgiving’ begins to dominate my mind.  For some of us, this is in the top 2 or 3 premier events of the year. The gatherings, the best food of the year and no need to buy presents!!! This is a win-win holiday!

But as with so many things the real meaning kind of gets lost in all that stuffing (yes, anyway you want to use that word).  The original concept was, and should continue to be, giving thanks to God for the bounty He provided.  I hope we all pause at least for a few moments to actually give truly grateful thanks to a loving, generous God for our over-abundance of blessings as Americans.

As ministry leaders, this is also an opportunity to shine a little.  I spent 25 years working at a Pregnancy Resource CenterOne of the best ideas we ever had for our nonprofit outreach to supporters was a very simple idea… A Day of Thanks.  We printed out our supporter list with phone numbers, divided it up among 6 carefully picked board and staff members, and then made our calls. When they answered or we got the voice mail, we simply said we were calling from our agency to say ‘thank you’ and something like this: “As Thanksgiving approaches, our minds and hearts go to how grateful we are to have friends like you who make our ministry possible with your support. We simply can’t say it enough. Thank you!”

Don’t ask.  Don’t share any needs. If the person asks, be prepared to say “That’s not the reason for this call. We simply want to share our gratitude. How can we pray for you at this time?”

For our ministry, this was a big home run (or in November, I guess it would be a touchdown).  Our supporters saw that we valued them as friends and a significant part of our ministry. Being thankful with no other motive is a powerful message in itself.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Cindy McDaniel 

Regional Consultant, Ministry Ventures

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