The Power Of A Simple Note

“A text message just doesn’t cut it, for the simple reason that conveying emotion in digital formats is a lost cause. Somehow thickets of exclamation points, ALL CAPS shouts, loaded acronyms and chirpy emoticons cannot approach the freight of feeling conveyed on a scrap of paper with words scratched on it by hand.” (Paula Madden)

The Power of a Simple Note

High-Tech Low-Touch World

I enjoy Facebook, Twitter, and love that text messages are so instant. My niece and nephew are coming from England this week and we planned it all by text. How awesome is that? While I do not agree 100% with the above statement, I am old school and understand her sentiment. Remember when people actually talked to each other in the checkout line? Some of the best jokes of the day happened in those 7 minutes. However, I think that Paula Madden is right that in this world where everyone is a brand and messages are bombarding us from all directions, “a scrap of paper with words scratched on it by hand.” will help you to stand out and make an impact. 

I have to first admit that I was much better at sending thank you cards earlier in my ministry than I am now and I have purposed to make a change in that area of my life. I remember the first 2 thank you cards I sent back in 1992, one of the ladies told me it was the first time she had received a “thank you card”. I’m sure there had been other expressions of thanks for her ministry but mine was her first card. I learned an important lesson about appreciation that day. 

So where do we start?

The Occasion

Just like the saying, “You can’t see the forest for the trees.” opportunities for note sending are all around us but sometimes we don’t recognize them. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Accomplishment – New Job, Graduation, New Church Position, (I would always send a card to each of my youth who got their license. I would congratulate them and then let them know I would now be staying off the sidewalks.)
  • Board Members – Those coming in and those who are stepping off the board.
  • Serving – Sunday School, Small Group Leaders, Ushers, Welcome Team, etc.
  • New people taking out Church Membership
  • First Time Financial Givers
  • Catch them doing something right – “I saw you go over and spend time with one of our guests last Sunday…”

Silent gratitude isn’t much use to anyone. – G.B. Stern

The Outline

Great, but what do I say?

  • Be Real – Handwrite the note. (I print because according to my writing skills I should have been a doctor. Yes, it’s that bad)
  • Be Specific – If it’s a personal note share how you were moved by their action. If it’s more church related, share how their action affected others and helped to fulfill the church vision.
  • Be Short – If you are always running out of space, you are too long winded.  That’s what email is for. 🙂

Here is a post on writing thank you notes for you to check out:

Appreciate good people. They are hard to come by. – Unknown

Three Thoughts

  • Note writing may not be your thing but the results can certainly be worth the initial effort.
  • Receiving a note will mean more to some people than others. We all have different love languages.
  • Start small, how about one note a week?

For Further Thought:

The Found Art of Thank You Notes

How Gratitude Can Change Your Life

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Written by Peter Walters

Peter has been married to his wonderful wife Sarah for 29 years and they have two children.


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