Tag: Volunteers

Labor Day Post: Manage your team

It’s labor day, you’re probably not going to read this until tomorrow, right? We all manage people, whether they get a paycheck or give their time away in our ministry environments. The principles of good management apply to both. Enjoy this intriguing infographic from Pepperdine University.

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Budgeting for meals with volunteers

If that’s not a sexy blog title, I don’t know what is.

Yesterday I wrote asking what your church policy is concerning meals with volunteers and leaders. For a holiday week and for inadvertently having comments turned off on my blog, it seemed like a question others were curious about. I’ll probably sum up this conversation next week, but I thought I’d give you an update on some of the information I’ve gathered so far. I have a “go-to” team of people who I often send emails to when I have questions like this. Depending on the questions, I mix up who I ask.

So here is some of the feedback I got:

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Lunch with a leader?

Okay, I’ve got a quick question for you. Being that we’re two days away from Thanksgiving, it fits well with a food theme.

One of the best ways to connect with a leader, a new volunteer or a parent is over a coffee, breakfast or lunch. At least that’s what I found. I and my staff frequently meet together over a meal or coffee and we do the same with others. This seems normal, right?

Well, a few months ago we began looking at our budget from a church leadership team perspective to see what policies we have around meals. What is appropriate? What is expected? What guidelines need to be in place to make sure that we’re wise with funds. I knew that over the past few years, we’ve worked with a set number that we’ve just increased year to year… but we never looked at the lump sum specifically and defined exactly how we’re spending it.

So, I sat with my staff and started asking the questions.

How many lunches do you need to have with your staff a month? Coffees?
How many lunches does your staff need to have with leaders/volunteers a month? Coffees?
How many other lunches & coffees do you and your team need to have with others?
I complied the numbers and our Children’s Ministry number alone ballooned to $25,000. Granted, we’re leading a volunteer force of 300 people with 5-6 staff… but that seemed a little excessive.

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Kidmin non-negotiables

The last couple of days, I’ve been talking about creating safe environments within your children’s ministry. It’s too important to “wing it” or think that the chances of something happening are slim, so it’s not worth getting so particular about everything.

Today I simply wanted to introduce a couple of non-negotiables. Hopefully, if you read this, you’re already doing these things. I’d love to hear back from some of you and know what your non-negotiatbles are.

  1. Background check and screen all workers – This doesn’t matter if they work every week, once a month or two times a year. If they have access to kids, they need to go through the process. What about having parents come in and help? This is an area where some people fudge a little. I’m obstinate about this.
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Want more volunteers?

In the Fall, I have the honor of speaking at the Institute of Children’s Ministry ICM in North Carolina and became friends with Jason Vernon, a pastor in North Carolina’s research triangle. Although he is a senior pastor, he’s a huge advocate for Children’s Ministry. I happend to be on his church’s website today and I saw something I really liked. His church, RTP Community Church is not a huge church. Rather, it represents the demographic of most churches in the United States. However, I was highly impressed by how they manage their volunteer process on their website.

It reminded me of Jim Wideman’s principles as illustrated in his book STRETCH. If you’ll organize your systems, you’re only preparing yourself and making capacity for growth. If you want more volunteers, you have to prepare yourself to handle them. That’s what I saw on the RTP Community Church website.

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Illuminate Updates

It’s been a few months since I’ve posted anything about Illuminate, so I thought I’d catch everyone up. It’s truly been a wild and exciting ride this year. The Austin event is just 11 days away. I’m...

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