As I look at the week in review and spend sometime setting up my calendar I have begun to get slightly overwhelmed. Many times I would have been overwhelmed by how much there is to do but tonight I am overwhelmed with gratitude for the volunteer culture that God has created at our church. With Sunday being Easter, heading towards the camp season, church renovations I am more thankful than ever that I belong to a church that truly has a “mind to work”.
I would like to briefly (briefly because I have been made aware my blogs are often too long) give a few of the factors that I believe God has used to create a volunteer culture at our church. The list is neither exhaustive of unique to use. I hope it can be a help to you.
- Pulpit belongs to God. You may say this is true of every church. It is most evident when a pastor preached exponentially and sequentially through the Bible. When the pastor enters into the pulpit with an understanding it belongs to God and we should deliver His message than the church will follow suit in the rest of the building.
- People are equipped for ministry. When people are equipped for ministry they want to go do it! We are told in Eph. 4:11,12 that the saints (believers) are to be equipped by gifted men to do the work of the ministry. Going from player to player coach to coach is often more difficult than people may realize. We strive to be a church full of disciple makers and not spectators of a few ministry professionals.
- Prospective volunteers are given an open invitation. We try to state clearly and often that “if you would like to get involved as a volunteer in one of the ministries of the church join us at 5:20 for our weekly Volunteers Meeting”. This allows people to always know what is the next step.
- Pre- planning for events provides opportunities. (I know I had to twist that statements arm to get it to fail in live with the alliteration) This is the task we have found most difficult but also one of the most rewarding things we do. The farther out we plan the more detailed our timeline becomes. More details means more actionable tasks which requires more volunteers. More volunteers almost always equals a better event. I hope I didn’t lose you in the math. When you wait until the last minute and get everything done on your own the even may not suffer but the church does. You stole meaningful opportunities for people to be involved in that were not at the church at 11 pm on Saturday.
- Placing an emphasis on involvement. From our New Members Luncheon to our Sunday announcements to our discussions over meals we place a great emphasis on getting involved. We do not take for granted that people should know there is plenty for them to do.
- Providing opportunities. You may say this is not a problem, but it often is. Based upon peoples desires, talents, and schedules we often have to create new opportunities for them to get plugged in as a volunteer. I have seen many churches where if you couldn’t sing, carry an offering basket, or preach there would be nothing for you to do. We must work at making sure everyone has something to do. It should be easy when you goal is world evangelism.
Leaders in the church have a very important job in helping people in the church use their God given talents in the Great Commission. I am trying to learn and grow in this area. If you have a way that helps promote a volunteer culture please let me know in the comment section below. No it does not have to start with the letter “p”. Yes, I did forget to be brief.