Volunteering and Discipleship

Most churches are always recruiting volunteers. Why does it seem like the same people are always the volunteers? How can you help all the members of your congregation see their place in service?

Volunteer service empowers God’s Church. It helps individuals in the pew see who God made them to be. It helps them serve in meaningful ways. Listen for help in making that happen in your church.

Lay leaders can help with recruitment. 

  • The big thing to do is ASK! Sometimes we feel like we need to do it by ourselves because we ask too much. However, when we personally ask a person for help or point out that person has a special talent, that person may be happy to help out.
  • Make a “clear ask.” You don’t want volunteers to feel stuck in a position. Specify the task and the time commitment up front.

Pastors can help people become more involved.

  • Be a part of the “reflection loop.” Toward the end of the term of volunteer service, thank that person and then help lead that individual to see how God has used that person to support the bigger work of the church. Help the person to reflect on personal growth and then have a discussion about the future—moving to a new area or growing in the current area.
  • Get to know people better. If you can keep them happy in their service, you won’t need to spend as much time looking for new volunteers.

Thought Starters:

  • Are there things I’m guilty of doing myself, when someone else might thrive in doing those things?
  • How can I help our lay leaders recognize strengths, talents, and passions of people in our congregation?
  • Where could I be a better part of the “reflection loop” and encourage our people in future service?

Resources:

  • Group Publishing Equipping Institute (www.group.com)
  • The New Breed: Understanding and Equipping the 21st-century Volunteerby Jonathan McKee and Thomas W. McKee
  • Send Me St. Louis (www.sendmestlouis.org)
  • Volunteer Motivation Inventories 
  • United Way Volunteer Center
  • CTA—great for thank-you gifts (www.CTAinc.com)