Tutorial for “Offer a Suggestion to a Religious Leader”

Tips

This letter must be especially tactful. Be sure the leader feels your acceptance and does not feel attacked. Be sure to include enough information about the situation to convince the reader that there is a problem and that your suggestion would help solve it.

Steps

1. Present background information, maintaining a positive tone.

Sentences

  • As you know, our boys have been involved in the congregation's youth group for some time. They were disheartened with our last pastor's lack of participation, so when you arrived last winter, they became enthusiastic. Now we observe that many families with teen-age children have moved from the area, so the number of youth activities has decreased.
  • This morning's sermon on the Good Samaritan was excellent. I thoroughly enjoyed it. As I discussed it with my wife, I realized how few of us really act on that teaching. For example, how many of us get involved with the homeless in our area?
  • Our church membership has been growing rapidly. Many young families have moved into the area and there is a new enthusiasm, which is encouraging. While this is good news, I still worry about some of our older members, particularly the shut-ins. I am concerned that we may be overlooking some of their basic needs.
  • You have been our pastor for only a few months, but already you have impressed us with your scholarship and leadership. You also seem concerned about the feelings of every member of our congregation, which is why I am writing this letter.
  • You have been a wise leader. I look forward to your sermons, and the congregation seems more unified today than it has for a long time. However, I have one suggestion that I think may benefit us all.

Phrases

  • about the latest news
  • actually act on your teachings
  • already benefited from your service
  • appreciate leadership of
  • are very excited to
  • as I listened to what you said
  • congregation seems more unified
  • enjoyed listening to
  • feelings of every member of your congregation
  • frequently hear kids talking about
  • good to be kept informed
  • has been expanding rapidly since
  • have a suggestion that may
  • help with our youth group that is
  • in the wake of change we seem
  • members of our congregation sincerely want to
  • membership in our church is
  • number of activities for the youth have
  • participation seems to drop
  • seem concerned about the problem of
  • some of our elderly members seem
  • sometimes feel overlooked
  • the reason I am writing this letter is
  • this morning's sermon caused me to
  • thought about the homeless in our area
  • vitality we lacked before
  • were disheartened to learn that
  • when you arrived last winter
  • with our last pastor who
  • wondered how many of us have

2. Explain the problem or situation.

Sentences

  • We realize youth are hard to please, but recently their complaints seem to have validity. Several weeks pass in which there are no activities organized for their participation.
  • So often we all walk past the homeless, just like the priest and the Levite did. We pretend the homeless don't exist. Although we all know we should be the Good Samaritan and help out, few of us ever do it. They do need help and we need guidance on how to offer it.
  • I know several elderly women who can scarcely take care of themselves. Many can no longer drive, and some are physically dependent on others just to get around. All of them are alone and could use our love and support.
  • The Smiths have been undergoing marriage counseling for some time and are finally managing to make things work. Unfortunately, when others make a reference to divorce or marriage, they tend to construe the comments as personal attacks.
  • There are several single adults in the congregation. As a single adult, I would like to get acquainted with the others in our area by participating in joint social activities. As of now, the only opportunities to do so are before or after church services and at choir practice.

Phrases

  • a place away from the world
  • although it is impossible to please everyone
  • before or after church services
  • by pretending they do not exist
  • can scarcely take care of themselves
  • could use our love and support
  • eager for the youth to be involved in
  • finally managing to work things out with
  • have seen this happen with seemingly innocent statements
  • have yet to see us do it with
  • help to prepare them for the time when
  • help them work toward that end
  • many of these complaints have some basis
  • may be misinterpreted as an attack on
  • need our help in
  • only opportunities to do so are
  • only a handful of us are in the choir
  • react to any references to
  • show them dynamic Christian leadership in action
  • so often we walk past without
  • undergoing serious marriage counseling
  • when they will be on their own
  • would never ignore them

3. Offer your suggestion.

Sentences

  • Some of us think it would be a good idea if you could lead a committee of parents and youth to address some of these concerns and come up with activities that would bring new life to our youth organization.
  • There is so much we could and should do for them. We could sponsor a drive to collect nonperishable food and clothing items. Groups could be assigned to help serve meals at the homeless shelter--anything to offer a hand and get involved.
  • There are many things we could do for those in need. We could assign people to maintain weekly contact and organize drivers to take them to a grocery store or to doctor appointments. We could even record church services for them to listen to at home.
  • I thought it might be helpful to be aware of the situation, so you could help with the healing process.
  • Would it be possible to organize a church-sponsored activity group specifically for single adults? The group could do service-oriented activities once a month that would provide opportunities to make friendships, while becoming involved in the community.

Phrases

  • assign people to maintain weekly contact
  • be aware of the situation
  • be able to reconcile hurt feelings
  • becoming more involved in the community
  • breathe life back into
  • church-sponsored activity group
  • collect nonperishable foods and clothing items
  • could address some of their concerns
  • could watch out for your statements
  • could have a drive to
  • do service-oriented activities
  • especially for the single adults
  • exciting new ideas for activities for
  • groups could be assigned to
  • help serve meals at
  • let them know we care
  • parents and youth have often
  • perhaps you could head a committee to
  • provide a chance for us to make lasting friendships
  • record church services and take a recording to those who
  • set-up drivers to take them
  • there is much we could offer
  • thought it might be helpful to
  • will do anything to offer a hand
  • would appeal to the youngsters
  • would it be possible to organize

4. Close by offering your help or support.

Sentences

  • We are ready and eager to help in any way we can.
  • We are very willing to organize such a food drive or other activity to help our less fortunate brothers and sisters. Please let us know what we can do.
  • Such a project would require a lot of effort, but we are willing to help in any way we can. There are many who are in need of our help. We need to let them know we haven't forgotten them.
  • I am excited to get to know you better. My prayers are with you. If I can be of any help, please let me know.
  • If I can help in arranging the program, please give me a call.

Phrases

  • am excited to get better acquainted with
  • are willing to help out in
  • are not as fortunate as we
  • are more than willing to
  • are eager to help in any way we can
  • are available to help
  • can we be of assistance to you
  • have not forgotten them
  • help organize such a drive
  • help in setting up such a program
  • help our brothers and sisters
  • if I can be of any help
  • let us get started
  • need to let them know
  • please let us know
  • prayers are with you
  • such a project would require a lot of effort
  • want to be sure you know
  • who are in need of our help

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