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"What a 'Thank You' Note Can Teach Us"
by Tom Goodman
May 24, 2007

Margaret Miller received a note about our Mother’s Day Out program that’s worth sharing.  As you read it, watch for the things that made this mom such a fan of our ministry, because they are the same things that will make your own ministry area successful, too:

Dear Ms. Margaret,

I confess I did not know what to expect when I first enrolled Alice at Hillcrest for Mother’s Day Out.  So many of the other programs I had checked out offered bouncy castles every Wednesday or horseback riding or foreign language lessons.  Your program was much simpler.  Yet, your warmth and kindness were apparent even when I spoke to you on the phone, so I decided Hillcrest might be the best place in spite of the lack of bells and whistles.

I am so glad I made that decision!  Barbara and Amy, Alice’s teachers, are dedicated and kind.  I spent some time with the class during their “water day” last Thursday, and I did not see a single neglected, bored, or unhappy child.  Every single one was engaged.  They all felt loved.  The kids all seemed to like each other.  These are the marks of great teaching and of the love of Christ.  Each day, the gentleness with which Barbara and Amy speak to the children, their kind firmness when discipline is needed, and their obvious enjoyment of the kids demonstrate their excellence.

Watching three-year-olds all day is an exhausting experience, and full of mundane tasks.  Probably there are many days in which these teachers fall exhausted into chairs and wonder if they have made any difference at all.

They became exhausted so moms could be refreshed.  They have shown our children that school is to be anticipated as a place to feel safe, learn and be loved.  They have created good attitudes toward learning and friendships.  They have given their best to my little girl, and I am so very grateful.

In comparison, the “frills” I had thought so important now seem meaningless.  I could not imagine a place I would rather send my daughter.  I have such gratitude for you, Mrs. Barbara, and Mrs. Amy for everything you have given us.  Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Did you catch what made this mom such a fan of our Mother’s Day Out program?  Love and attention.

It’s a lesson for all of us as leaders, no matter what ministry area we’re responsible for at Hillcrest.  There is no substitute for love and attentive care.  We will (and we should) continue to look at improvements to our facilities and changes to our programs.  But when people come into our improved facilities and participate in our updated programs, believe me, they are looking for more than just improved facilities and updated programs.  They are looking for love, belonging, connection . . . family.

You’re doing a great job at Hillcrest offering that.  This “thank you” note proves it!  As a leader, keep monitoring your ministry area to be sure that we keep the main thing the main thing.

Who knows?  You might get a “thank you” note from someone, too!


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