When I look back over all the books I’ve read as a vocational ministry leader, I think the one that has influenced me the most is the first one I read on volunteer leadership, or leading leaders. This book was Simply Strategic Volunteers: Empowering People for Ministry by Tony Morgan and Tim Stevens. Just a few chapters in, it helped me look at my role differently and do a 180 with my thinking. As a church staff children’s ministry leader, I first believed my primary role to be teaching and discipling children. What this book helped me realize was that loving Jesus and loving children are non-negotiables in kids ministry. However, if I really want to have influence that reaches far beyond what I would be able to do on my own, my role had to shift from leading kids to leading leaders to lead kids – and doing it well.

Strategic Volunteers helped me understand and believe in the idea that we aren’t just looking for people to fill holes in a service staffing schedule, we are creating opportunities for people to use their God given gifts and talents to further his kingdom by using them for His glory. That’s exciting! It’s exciting for kids, it’s exciting for leaders, and it’s exciting for the ministry staff who gets to see ministry happening in all directions. Nothing is more powerful that seeing leaders equipped to teach and disciple kids.

With short chapters on nearly 100 different ideas and topics on how to recruit, train, equip and encourage volunteers, Strategic Volunteers is a quick and easy read. I read 1-2 chapters each afternoon in the carpool line at school and made a list of new things to begin doing to encourage leaders that weekend.

I very quickly saw not only a change in my own heart and leadership, but also in the team of leaders I was blessed to influence. They began to OWN the ministry rather than just renting space for an hour on Sunday. The ministry changed from top to bottom, and it all started with just flipping my thinking – one short chapter at a time. If you haven’t read this book, DO IT. GET IT NOW! Share it with your leaders and staff and see the difference for yourself!

Book Club: Simply Strategic Volunteers


Power up your ministry with empowered people! These in-the-trenches authors show you how to help volunteers use their strengths to benefit the church—and their spiritual growth. Following in the footsteps of Simply Strategic Stuff, this comprehensive resource offers 99 straightforward solutions to help you recruit, train, motivate, and keep volunteers in ministry.

Lead people from being consumers in the church to being contributors—and help them find greater personal fulfillment in the process. The authors give you field-tested ideas on how to:

Create a serving environment,

Structure unique serving roles,

Help people learn how God has wired them for ministry and more.