Have you ever watched the TV show Undercover Boss? A CEO or president of a prominent company puts on a disguise and spends a week working within his or her company. Workers are told that the new addition to their team is part of a reality TV show. What they don't know is that the newbie is actually the leader of the entire corporation.
At the end of the show, the employees are invited to corporate headquarters. There, they meet their new coworker again, and discover his or her real identity.
Typically, the bosses come to realize how committed their employees are. They learn about each person's family, hardships, and challenges. Most episodes end with both the boss and employee reduced to tears as they gain a new understanding and appreciation of what they share. Sadly, some of the employees on the show report that they've previously never been thanked for their hard work.
The show got me thinking about my role as a pastor. I wish I could go undercover at my church. I'd love to be able to give my hard-working teammates a substantial gift that tells them how much I love and appreciate them. I don't do that nearly enough.
But the truth is, I see them doing great things all the time! And I don't need to go undercover to tell them how much I value them. I just need to do it more.
Why do we sometimes fail to tell our teams how important they are? Why don't we thank them more often? Is it possible that some of the people we supervise feel the same way as those employees on TV feel, that no one ever appreciates or notices their contributions?
One possible reason: we may think our employees don't need to be thanked. They're getting paid. They're serving the Lord. They should just look to God for their appreciation, right?
Of course, this kind of thinking is wrongheaded. It ignores our role in the process. Paul showered accolades on many of those he served with. Those compliments are now part of Scripture. We all need to have God speak to us in the flesh through a "Paul" ...