When is the last time someone sent you a handwritten note, and not because you first sent them a gift? In this electronic age, it seems handwritten communication is almost extinct. Why, it even takes a day or two for a note to be received through snail mail!
Don’t misinterpret me. I love modern forms of communication. My family and I text frequently during the day. I receive 100 or more emails every day, not counting those that go to the spam file. Hardly a day goes by that I don’t check in on Facebook to see that is happening with my “friends.”
But there is still something special about notes—handwritten notes. The recipient knows a special effort was made. Time was exerted. Even a small cost was involved.
Through my years of church ministry, I had a goal of sending at least 10 handwritten notes a week. Those on the receiving end varied: Sunday School leaders, soloists, people who had been involved in a special ministry, and those the Lord simply placed on my mind. Each note was unique, not from a prepared template. I began a tradition of using green ink several years ago, even addressing the envelope by hand with a green pen.
I cannot tell you the number of times someone approached me and said they had received my note. It meant more to them than they could express. Time after time I was told they received it just when they needed a word of encouragement or recognition.
People appreciate being noticed and acknowledged by their leaders. One simple, yet highly effective way is through handwritten notes. Here are a few tips to get you started in this simple, yet effective ministry:
1. Set a goal of sending a certain number of encouraging notes each week.
2. Look for people to affirm—catch people doing good!
3. Personalize the notes.
Bruce Raley serves as Executive Pastor of First Baptist Church, Hendersonville, TN. A native of Hot Springs, AR, he previously served as Director of Church Partnerships and Church Education for Lifeway Christian Resources for 10 years. While at Lifeway, he personally trained hundreds of new church leaders. He also served on staff at First Baptist Church of Panama City, FL, and Walnut Street Baptist Church of Jonesboro, AR.