If you are a leader of any ministry area, you know how vital it is to have all players in place before ministry begins. No matter what the responsibility, every program role you have set up needs a person to fill it.
Old school of ministry serve model was that if you agreed to serve, you could be in that spot until the good Lord returns. And it didn’t necessarily matter if you were finding some fulfillment in it or not, you were filling a spot. Obligation… man, that’s heart warming.
The other side of that would be the ones who won’t EVER try and volunteer because they will end up serving until the Lord’s return. They avoid eye contact with you.
A New Way That’s DOABLE…
If you begin to think STRATEGY rather than programming in how we minister to kids and families, you must also consider the volunteer. Volunteering must be a doable serve – so offer some options for those with time constraints, or those who may be a bit reluctant to jump in to volunteer.
I believe it was an Andy Stanley book where I read “Pitchers pitch.”
Each player on a baseball team is best in their gift. And they work on that particular gift for it to grow. Pitcher’s pitch. Catcher’s catch. As a ministry leader you need to find out what are the strength’s of your volunteers. Use those God given gifts in the right capacity. But… good luck if you have your short stop pitching. No pro coach would stand for that. Be a great leader a put people in their gift of serving area! Help them FIND their gift to serve. Let people try a role and see if they are fit for it. Train them. It will be life giving to them. Then they ask others to join in…
Think about respecting availability. I believe best case scenario is a small group leader to be there each week for the same kids. But there are creative ways to help take some steps toward that if you’re quite able to think like that yet. An example of making a doable serves: two leaders share responsibility who can trade off months (or as themes change), but they are both consistent in caring for the group. They both know the kids and share in investment.
If your lead teacher can’t be there each week, is one month on- one month off a possibility for consistency? It works best if you teach around key themes, (like a monthly virtue). Make it a doable serve. How about leaning in to the 9 month school year with only large group programming in the summer that requires less volunteers? Give your team a break. Be creative. You get the buy in to ask BIGGER asks when you make it doable!
Finally, make the serve rewarding by always looking for ways to invest in appreciating the fine team God brings together. Honor people’s gifts and time. Chances are they will have a different mindset of what serving is- and they will keep coming back for more!