Are Your Leaders Getting the Appreciation They Need?

Look up the definition of the word, “appreciate.” You might find this definition: “To recognize the full worth of.” It’s a definition I recently came across. It made me realize this is a practice that’s desperately needed for our ministry leaders.

Whenever I share my testimony I mention the first small group I was ever in. I was in college and didn’t even know what a small group was. My leader planned each evening, but I didn’t know what went into these experiences. I was quiet in the group, but the impact the group had on my life was pivotal. Looking back, I see my life is completely different now because of the experiences I had in that group.

The problem? I never told anyone about it! I had no clue what was changing at the time. I didn’t know the effort and faith that had resulted in my life change. I never thought to thank anyone because only later could I grasp what happened.


Screen Shot 2017-04-04 at 10.54.52 AMAre you a member of our Facebook Group? Benefits include connecting with other small group ministry leaders world-wide, sharing ideas, asking questions and receiving insightful resources! To join this amazing community, click HERE



Pastors are used to appreciating group leaders. It’s a line item for most group life budgets. But small group leaders are humble people that need to be reminded of their “full worth.”

A friend of mine used a great tactic to instill the importance of appreciation. He incentivized small group members to publicly celebrate their leaders.

This church held celebration meals for all the small groups from time to time. They had a tradition to encourage group members sharing cool small group stories. The incentive? If you went up to share a story, your small group leader got a leadership book or other prize. It was a great way to honor what God was doing in communities while also identifying the “full worth” of small group leaders.

What practices are you weaving into your ministry to generate a culture of appreciation? What small changes could create ripples that help others know the impact they are having?


  • Jon Noto

    Jon Noto is a licensed Christian therapist who was called into ministry and served at Willow Creek Community Church’s North Shore campus as Community Life Pastor. Now Jon works with White Stone Counseling Resources, a Christian counseling practice that serves local churches. Jon continues to write, teach, and train in addition to private practice. You can follow him on Facebook or Twitter.

    View all posts

Have a question or an insight? Leave it below!

Upcoming Events

July 2024

July 9-10: ACCELERATE SoCal
Learn More

Feb 2025

Feb 18-20: The LOBBY Gathering SoCal
Learn More


Follow Us

Sign up for our Newsletter

Daniel Thomas

Connections Director


Daniel serves as Executive Pastor at Community Church of Mountain City, TN.  Daniel and his family are on a mission to establish roots within their community, fight for peace and serve well.  He serves as our Connections Director in laying the groundwork for Circles. He loves great coffee and traveling with his wife Tia and two children, Deklan and Aden



Individual Registration – $209.00

Team of 2 Registration (price per person) – $199.00

Team of 3 or more Registration (price per person) – $189.00

*Registration ends on Nov 8th, 2021. Walk-in registrations are not available.