I know what you are thinking – is that a ‘typo’? Have the Small Group Network communications team not proof read this article properly? What does she mean ‘Thank Tank’? I have never heard of such a thing! Is it like a fish tank, a rain tank……some other type of tank native to Australia?
OK, hopefully you have worked it out – Just my creative play on words! ‘Think Tank – Thank Tank’, or you may be more familiar with the term ‘brainstorm’. ‘Thank Tank’ is a term I have made up to explain a focused time of brainstorming around how to express ‘thanks’. (Just as an aside I do like the visual idea of a tank full of thanks!)
So how does this work?
Next time you gather your small group leaders together:
• Divide them into groups of 5 or 6.
• Ways to Thank – Give half of the groups opportunity to list creative ways to show appreciation and thanks to others. They should write down as many ideas they can think of. Any idea is acceptable! No comments such as; ‘that wouldn’t work’ are not allowed!! You might ask people to also think/share about times they have been thanked in meaningful ways and how that has impacted them.
• Who to Thank – At the same time give the other half of the groups opportunity to list all the people who may not get thanked or shown appreciation very often – in the local community, in the church and in their families.
• Bring the groups together – Share everything on both lists. (Assign a couple of scribes so that you end up with two master lists)
• Match Time – Ask each participant to match one thing from the ‘Ways to Thank’ list with a person or group on the ‘Who’ list.
• Finally – Encourage them to commit to acting on their ‘match’ choice in the next couple of weeks. (This last step should not be revealed until leaders have made their match.)
There you have it – a ‘Thank Tank’!
1. The exercise encourages creative thinking and team work within your small group leadership team.
2. It will move leaders toward an action step -they will have a concrete idea they can use to actively thank someone!
3. Small group leaders can then lead the ‘thank tank’ exercise in their small group. This will in turn challenge group members to action – they too will be thanking someone.
4. Potential small group ministry and mission opportunities will be discovered on the lists. (particularly from community groups listed on the ‘Who to Thank’ list)
5. As the small point person you get a list of creative ways to thank your leaders –(Make sure you remember to write them all down! Use them throughout the year to show your thanks and appreciation to your leaders.
Have fun and may your ‘tank be full of thanks!’