Do they love it?

I met with my Kids staff today. We had a very interesting discussion on volunteer recruiting. Interestingly enough, the discussion we had was very similar to what Pudge blogged today. We were talking about the methods we’ll be recruiting new volunteers over the summer. We’ve got several plans in the oven as we plan to saturate people with the opportunity to plug in. One of my staff then asked about how we get our existing volunteers to recruit for us. Her thought was that if they are currently serving, they would be the best recruiters. Although we have many volunteers and leaders who LOVE serving in Kids Quest, few volunteers recruit help. We discussed it further and there is a need for training and equipping volunteers who love the ministry to recruit more help. However, I had a few thoughts. First of all, I’ve talked with my staff from two other churches about getting volunteers to recruit other volunteers. We’ve even talked about great contests where the volunteer who recruited the most would win a big prize. However, I’ve never been anywhere where volunteers were a strong recruiting force. I went on to tell my staff. When I got to a restaurant that I love, I tell a lot of people. When I see a great movie, I tell a lot of people. When I get a new product/gadget...

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Clarification: Opportunity of a lifetime

Last week I read an incredible post from the Access: Elevation blog. It concerned how you communicate available volunteer positions to potential volunteers. Again, it’s one of those “don’t communicate the need, communicate the vision” ideas. However, Larry Brey communicated perfectly how serving is the opportunity of a lifetime. It’s a personal invite to participate in the single most powerful movement and organization in the world. The Church! Bravo, it’s a great post that many can take and adapt to their volunteer/recruiting process. However… There is something I need to clarify. Something that appears to be missing. Yes, I think it would be incredible if we communicated this message to potential volunteers. Yes, I believe that serving in the church (especially in the kids ministry) 🙂 IS an opportunity of a lifetime. BUT, (listen closely) too often we don’t treat it that way. It’s easy to communicate how important the job is and how great an opportunity it is, but after we fill that spot we sometimes check that one off the list, move on to the next one and neglect the person who just bought what we were selling! If we truly believe that serving in the church is the opportunity of a lifetime, then we’ll treat every position with total respect. We’ll clearly communicate to our new volunteer. We’ll adequately train our new volunteer. We’ll walk beside...

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A HUGE favor: Helping someone discover their passion

Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve been hearing some interesting stories from some of the men who serve in the Children’s Ministry here at Gateway Church. One guy told me about how he and his wife responded to a plea for help in the Children’s Ministry. One day the Children’s Pastor turned to him and said, “I think you’d be perfect to operate and voice the Elmer puppet (our preschool character).” Now this guy is incredibly passionate about “being” Elmer and is also overseeing a dad’s group. Another guy started volunteering in the classroom where his daughter attended. At that point in time, he was an agnostic. Now he’s one of the lead teachers (no, he’s not an agnostic anymore). He wears a cape to work with the kids. Why? Because he’s passionate about being a hero to these kids. I observed (I haven’t met him yet) another guy who is the host of our Preschool Elmer’s Clubhouse (he’s the emcee). He’s one of the best I’ve seen. I asked about how they found him. I was then told that his wife dragged him into it. She wanted to serve and didn’t want to do it by herself. One day someone handed him the microphone and he hasn’t given it back yet. There are many more stories just like these, I just haven’t discovered them all yet. I’ve...

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Orange 2008: Synchronizing Volunteers

This session was led by Craig Jutila. Someone said that most of this information is in his book “Daze to Knights.” I knew he had this book, but I didn’t think this was about volunteers. I’ve heard Craig on several occasions and I’ve heard most of this stuff before. However, it is good stuff and I really needed to hear it again. Volunteerism is one of the biggest issues in ministry, so everyone could hear this stuff multiple times. First things: You don’t organize people, you align them You build people first and programs second You understand that without people, you do not nor can you have a healthy ministry Without a mission statement, you will never thrive with your volunteers We are all made differently One of the problems we have is that we often try to make everyone do the same about of work. People are different. Our goal should be to help them reach their potential. Craig talked about the 80/20 rule. 20% of your volunteers are doing 80% of the work. It’s a principle… expect this. Those 20% are your high impact volunteers. Of 100% of your volunteers, here is how they might break down: 5% – Influential: Empower 15% – Initiator: Energize 30% – Independent: Equip 50% – Industrious: Encourage Craig then talked about how Jesus led “volunteers.” 1 Corinthians 15:6 – Jesus appeared...

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