Thanksgiving provides churches and church leadership with a unique opportunity to show gratitude in memorable ways. Not only is Thanksgiving a great chance to reflect on the blessings you’ve received, but it is also a good time to act on your gratitude by giving in return.
Here are give things you and your congregation can do to make this Thanksgiving an impactful one.
1. Create a Community Feast
Who in your community could be lonely or hungry over the Thanksgiving holiday? Invite your church congregation to contribute food, and invite people in your community to join in for a hearty meal. Make sure to include the less fortunate, including your homeless neighbors.
Instead of feasting for feasting’s sake, feast with a purpose. Use the feast to fellowship with people who otherwise may not get to experience a true Thanksgiving dinner.
2. Invite Gratitude from the Church Family
Instead of simply opening the floor for verbal testimonies, ask your members in advance to write down blessings from the previous year. Ask for each family to contribute — whether as individuals or families — so that everyone in your community participates.
Collect these handwritten blessings and share them with the church body, whether during service or on a bulletin board. Create a meaningful tradition that you can repeat year after year, and encourage members to save their written blessings for future reflection.
3. Shine Lights of Thanksgiving
During a time of singing and sharing testimonies, set candles around the auditorium or worship space. With each testimony — whether sung or spoken — encourage someone to light a candle.
By the time the Thanksgiving service concludes, the room will be filled with flickering candles. It will create a beautiful representation of all the blessings your membership has received.
4. Take a Thanksgiving Offering with Mobile Giving
Whether this is done to raise money for a specific activity or to meet the needs of someone less fortunate, have your members contribute toward a special Thanksgiving offering. This is a great way to build up an attitude of thankfulness in your congregation, and allow them to give back in a direct and meaningful way.
In addition to distributing envelopes for this purpose, consider utilizing mobile giving to make it effortless for people to participate — even if they can’t physically make it to your special service due to other holiday plans. If you have been considering a mobile giving app for your church, this would be a great opportunity to give it a try.