One big reason I've gotten lazy when it comes to writing by hand is because I don't write by hand the majority of the time. I spend a lot more time typing than I do writing by hand.
I think most of us would say the same thing. We type a lot more than we write by hand. We email. We instant message. We text. We use Word to write our letters. We create brochures with Indesign and Publisher.
Because we don't write as much by hand, when you do take the time to write out something by hand for someone, it is very impactful.
Here are 3 times it's better to pick up a pen instead of using the keys of a computer, laptop, smart phone, etc.
When you are sending a "thank you for being our guest" note or letter. Many churches crank out a thank you letter or postcard from a template. And guests pick up on it, causing the letter or note to come across as a form piece that is impersonal.
Consider writing a handwritten note that is sent to your guests. And to really make it personal, mention something you learned about them on their first visit.
Here's an example. As you are helping a guest family get registered and checked in, ask them some questions that will help you remember something personal about them. Perhaps they just moved to your city from another part of the country. Or their son attends the same school as your kids. Or they were invited by another family in the church that you know as well.
Then, in the handwritten note, mention something that shows them you remember something personal about them. Perhaps it's mentioning the city they moved from. Perhaps it's telling them you are praying for their children, as they transition into their new school. You get the point.
A handwritten note that says "thanks for coming" is good for first-time guests. But a handwritten note that shows you noticed them and points out something unique to their family is gold. -Dale HudsonIf you want to be more effective with guests, then get off the keyboard and pick up a pen.
When you are sending a "thank you" note. If you want to show someone you are thankful for something they did, then take the time to write it out by hand. It shows the person you are writing, that you are thankful for their act of kindness or contribution.
When showing a volunteer you appreciate them. If you really want to show a volunteer you appreciate them, then take the time to write out a note. In the note, tell the volunteer something that you see in them and something specific they do to impact the kids.
Here's an example. You have a small group leader that you want to show your appreciation for.
Today I was thinking about you and the blessing you are to the children you serve. Your heart for the next generation always shines through. Thank you for making your small group a place where kids feel welcome, accepted and valued each week. Have a blessed week and know I appreciate you."
One observation that just crossed my mind. Every time a volunteer says something like, "Thank you for the note of encouragement, it meant a lot," it was because I had sent a handwritten note instead of an email or text or other form of digital communication.
One final thought about this. If you want to consistently send hand-written notes, then place a stack of notecards where you work and set a goal to send a certain number of hand-written notes each week.
Your turn. The floor is yours. Do you use hand-written notes? Any tips on how you use then, what key words you include, etc. Share your thoughts with us in the comment section below.