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.
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 them to make sure they’ve “got it.” Anything less and we’ve become nothing more than a used car salesman, resorting to whatever’s necessary to fill a spot.
I know that’s not our heart, but perhaps we “make room” and prepare for the volunteer to fill the spot before we begin recruiting.
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Great word! I think we have all fallen into that hole and once in, it’s hard to dig out of it. Our time is so full of recruiting but if we train well and follow through, those happy volunteers will automatically help recruit for us by sharing their success!
I think this is a good post but I also would like to briefly take a look at this from another angle real quick.
I think we can often (as well intentioned as we may be) make it the ministries we are recruiting for as the destination. It becomes more about people filling ministries instead of ministries filling people. I think Jesus came to fill the lives of people and he uses maybe a variety of man created ministries to assist in this. But I am pretty sure He did not create the ministries and then desire for people to fill them.
Please hear my heart in this. Good job on the blog.
You’re absolutely right. The end goal is not a fully staffed Children’s Ministry, but people maturing in their faith… both kids and volunteers. For most of my career, I’ve seen my job as the Children’s Pastor as someone who’s responsible for the spiritual growth of the kids who attend our church. In order to accomplish this goal, we use volunteers. However, this whole idea has really been turned on it’s head for me these last few months. My job IS to help lead kids to grow in Christ, but it’s my job to lead my volunteers and leaders to grow in Christ as they help lead kids.
I’ve got a blog post in the works right now concerning this specific strategy. It’s about the idea of areas of ministry being conduits of intentional spiritual growth for those who serve there… including Children’s Ministry.
Thanks for your comment though, it’s an important angle that needs to be addressed.