How to Build a Culture of Gratitude

When shaping a team culture, gratitude may not be the first trait you think of, but it is a vital component for having a healthy team. The way you lead can either build up or break down your team’s sense of gratitude. Most leaders are good at showing appreciation to their team for the work they do, but if you want to increase a spirit of gratitude, it will take more than a simple acknowledgement of a job well done.

Here are three practical things you can do to create a culture of gratitude:

  1. Thank them individually for their unique contribution. Over the next week, think about the unique contributions each one of your team members bring, then find an opportunity to share it with them. It may be a unique spirit they bring to the team because of their personality. It may be a certain talent they have that increases the overall effectiveness of the team. It may be a unique way they shape the team because of a consistently positive attitude they demonstrate. Discover something unique about each one and thank them for it. A well-crafted, sincere and specific thank you will be much more meaningful than a generic “great job.”
  2. Have team members encourage one another. Sometime over the next couple of weeks, use a staff meeting to have everyone go around and say something they appreciate about each individual in the room. By expressing their gratitude publicly, they will feel the weight of that personally. Some may even hear for the first time something positive everyone thinks about them that they were not aware of.
  3. Celebrate the wins. Your team has a mission statement, and you’re working hard toward a specific vision.  Sometimes leaders run so fast and so far ahead that we forget to stop and celebrate. Celebrating the wins and showing the team how their contributions have made a difference can go a long way in making them feel grateful to be a part of such a great team. Accomplishing results is a rewarding feeling, and taking a moment to stop and celebrate those accomplishments will foster a sense of gratitude in your team for the opportunity they have to serve the greater mission of your organization.

Creating a culture of gratitude will take some intentionality, but I promise that the payoff will be well worth the effort.

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Mac Lake

Mac Lake

Mac is a pioneering influence in the church planting movement. In 1997, he planted Carolina Forest Community Church (Myrtle Beach, South Carolina). In 2004, he began serving as Leadership Development Pastor at Seacoast Church (Charleston, South Carolina) where he served for over six years. In July 2010, Mac Lake joined with West Ridge Church to become the Visionary Architect for the LAUNCH Network. In 2015 Mac begin working with Will Mancini and Auxano to develop the Leadership Pipeline process. He joined Auxano full time in 2018. Mac and his wife, Cindy, live in Charleston, South Carolina and have three children, Brandon, Jordan and Brianna.

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comment_post_ID); ?> Thank you Ed for sharing your insights into the Church Growth Movement. I have my reservations with Church Growth models because it has done more damage than good in the Body of Christ. Over the years, western churches are more focused on results, formulas and processes with little or no emphasis on membership and church discipline. Pastors and vocational leaders are burnt out because they're overworked. I do believe that the Church Growth model is a catalyst to two destructive groups: The New Apostolic Reformation and the Emerging Church. Both groups overlap and have a very loose definition. They're both focus on contemporary worship, expansion of church brand (franchising), and mobilizing volunteering members as 'leaders' to grow their ministry. Little focus on biblical study, apologetics and genuine missional work with no agenda besides preaching of the gospel.
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comment_post_ID); ?> Thank you for sharing such a good article. It is a great lesson I learned from this article. I am one of the leaders in Emmanuel united church of Ethiopia (A denomination with more-than 780 local churches through out the country). I am preparing a presentation on succession planning for local church leaders. It will help me for preparation If you send me more resources and recommend me books to read on the topic. I hope we may collaborate in advancing leadership capacity of our church. God Bless You and Your Ministry.
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