Is there such a thing as the Theology of Gratitude?  I must confess that when I first thought of the term I was doubtful.  I did not remember that being taught me in my seminary days.  Now that I think about it there are a lot of things I did not learn in seminary!  Yet the concept and thought intrigued me so…I Googled it!  There is way more written on this subject than I realized.

Given that this week is when Americans celebrate Thanksgiving I thought I would probe this concept a bit more.  I actually wrote an entire newsletter, “The Stewardship Coach,” around this concept.  To become a member go to…$1 for 14 Day Trail offer

Whether you believe in calling expressing gratitude theology or not we would all agree that gratitude is a pretty cool thing.

On our pathway towards making disciples, it should be an imperative that Christ followers are to be continually learning and living a life of gratitude. 

Here are some key thoughts I wrote to my members that would be good practices for all of us.

The Theology of Gratitude must first begin with you.  If you are not grateful how will you teach others to be grateful?  If you don’t exhibited gratefulness how will others learn what gratitude looks like?

Gratefulness begets gratefulness!  When you show gratefulness to donors they in turn show gratefulness.  While saying thank you might not mean they give more it will certainly make donors feel appreciated for the gifts they give.  Again, how you respond teaches them how to respond.

Why is thanking your donors important?  I have some practical reasons for suggesting that we say thank you to donors.  Here are a few reasons I stress having a thank you plan of action…

  • Saying thank you for a past gift is a subtle way of reminding people about giving.
  • Saying thank you gives you an opportunity to say what gifts accomplish.  People give to what matters!
  • Saying thank you builds a platform upon which to ask for further gifts.
  • Saying thank you produces happy donors.  99.99% of your donors are not expecting a thank you but they will appreciate one when given.
  • Saying thank you shows that you recognize donors are not simply a number but a real person.
  • Saying thank you sets you apart from others who never acknowledge donations.

It takes so little to be above average.  Several years ago I read a book by Florence Littauer by that title.  The title says it all.  Few churches have any plan for building up donors.  How hard is it to from time to time simply say, “Thank you, your gift is making a difference?”  Establish in your own life the Theology of Gratitude and watch how it spreads to others!

Happy Thanksgiving and thank you for reading my blog!

Mark Brooks – The Stewardship Coach