Volunteers play a significant role in the development and consistent growth of every service and ministry organization. However, to see reliable growth be realized, there are important steps any leader should take, since failure is not an option! Or is it? This question often asked in my consultations usually opens large spaces of discussion in the sense that past failures are discussed, and the lessons that came with those failures are revealed. The lessons are almost always the important factor in growth. Positive lessons in church leadership derives from spiritual maturity. And, spiritual maturity comes from constant direction from our ultimate leader, God.
Occasionally in my profession, I meet some church leaders who landed in a leadership role based on family units or the fact that they have been a church member since the cradle. Unfortunately, not to their own fault, are not developed when it comes to managing people. Some of these very leaders are placed in positions to lead volunteer groups, and because of lack of proper training, they struggle to build strong volunteer programs.
Character as necessity, implies that both the leader of volunteers and volunteers themselves, should hold comportments of transparency and ingenuity. When we serve God, everyone should understand what this entails, with Him as the only true leader. In both, here are some of the main thinking in character for effective volunteer programs.
- Each person, leader and volunteer, should consistently envision what the potential volunteer program should look like. Leaders should be open to the ideas of current volunteers. Volunteers should take the time to speak to members of the church who are possible potential volunteers, to sincerely learn about them, know their interest in serving, and provide information on the many programs the church may need assistance with.
- Each person, leader and volunteer, should adopt the idea that members of the church are much more important than the task of filling volunteer positions.
- Each person, leader and volunteer, should be willing to get their hands dirty, to show that there’s no job, the group is not willing to do. In addition, this process helps to speed up the training of new volunteers.
- Each person, leader and volunteer, should always show appreciation to every person on the team.
- Each person, leader and volunteer, should always profess the importance of serving ministry, because ultimately, the service is to God.
- Believe in each other and the programs led by your group
Simple program and project characteristics are vital to strong volunteer teams, and to help elevate ministry-serving systems. Standards must be kept high, and rules of service should be followed to prevent any issues from falling through the cracks. Planning, which usually involves four steps, is likewise, one of the primary phases toward strong volunteer programs in the church. These four steps, discussed at a later time.
Church leader, remember, when we serve God, there should be no desire or need for hierarchy-focused systems in volunteer leadership. Remember, God’s got you!
Rev. M. Charlotte Oliver