Last week, I was talking to Todd and Jay Hostettler (son/father) at the Mile High Children's Ministry Fellowship luncheon about what says "I appreciate you" to volunteers. One of them said that some volunteers want you to acknowledge them by spending time with them–coffee or a basketball game at the park. I said I wouldn't want that as a volunteer–nor would I want to attend a volunteer appreciation banquet. What I love about my preschool coordinator, Jana Jones, is that she makes me feel so appreciated and valued in every conversation on Sunday morning and in every email.
You see, my "love language" is "acts of service" and Jana serves me by being sensitive to how busy I am and making me feel appreciated. But not everyone has the same love language. And we risk making our volunteers feel unappreciated when we're not fluent in their love language.
To learn more about what your volunteers' love language is–check out this article from childrensministry.com: "Say It With Love" http://childrensministry.com/articles/say-it-with-love