Let’s face it. We’d be donezo if we didn’t have volunteers helping us in ministry.

I can’t thank our leaders enough. There is no paycheck at the end of the week for the time that they share with us or the teenagers we serve.

If I had unlimited resources I’d send them all on a vacation, on a mission trip that they chose, and give them the anti-pizza gift card–to a steakhouse of their choice. They would never ask for this and most would refuse this (the veterans would gladly accept), but I’d like to give it anyway.

What we do offer them are the fruits of ministry. They get to see the seeds of faith planted, watered, and tended and then watch to see them bloom in a kaleidoscope of ways.

We offer them great stories to tell at work. Who else can say, “I catapulted a 70 pound middle schooler into the lake on my vacation!” or “There was no sleep for me this weekend, but my status as the state go-cart champion remains.” or “I helped a teenager find Jesus during my lunch hour.”

Volunteer leaders are hands down my most valuable gift in ministry.

So how do we thank them?

Telling them is a good start.
Gifts are nice too.
But if you’re budget is small or non-existent, I suggest baking to start thanking.

I realize that there are a lot of male youth leaders and pastors out there would have never baked anything in their lives. (Perhaps some of the ladies too). I challenge you to start now. It’s not hard. And if I can do it (the one with scars on my arms from trying to cook dinner for my husband), than anyone can.

Here are a few recipes that I’ll be baking up with my friend Erika (also a volunteer youth leader) to thank our leaders for all they do. If you are one of my leaders and you’re reading this, then let thy mouth water. These puppies are going to be good!

Cookie Dough Candy Cookies (From the Pioneer Woman. Everything this lady does is mint. Sooooo goood.)

Salted Caramel Thumbprint Cookies

Chocolate Sandwich Cookies (Homeade Oreos)

Chocolate Peppermint Crinkle Cookies

(P.S. Update on my recent sugar fast. I’m still staying away from the stuff. I give in for the big things like Thanksgiving or celebrating something like a birthday. But just because I’m taking a break from the white goodness doesn’t mean everyone else has to!)

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