Greg Strand is EFCA executive director of theology and credentialing, and he serves on the Board of Ministerial Standing as well as the Spiritual Heritage Committee. He and his family are members of Northfield (Minnesota) EFC.
In one of his recent musings, Gordon MacDonald writes of the importance of giving thanks. He refers to this as “The Thankful Exchange” and he concludes that it “is an indispensable element to all healthy human relationships.”
The message behind thank you seems to be this: I am acknowledging something—a gift, a word, an action—that you have offered to me. It has added value to my life, and I am compelled to celebrate what you have done.
It may seem strange—in an article for leaders—to focus on the thankful exchange. Wouldn't it be better addressed wherever it is that people comment on etiquette and good manners?
My opinion? The thank you exchange is an indispensable element to all healthy human relationships: friendships, marriage, family, organizations of all sizes and shapes. Neglect it, and, over a period of time, the quality of any of those relationships deteriorates.
Therefore, the thank you exchange is one of a leader's most important actions.
Christians, the redeemed, are thankful people. They are thankful to the Lord (1 Cor. 15:57; 2 Cor. 9:15; Col. 1:12; Heb. 12:28), and that thankfulness becomes a mark of their lives which overflows into relationships with others.