Literally go through your roster and pray for one member of your team everyday. I’m not saying you have to spend hours praying about every little thing in their lives – pray for a minute or two.
-Ask God to stir spiritual movement within their heart and be receptive of the Holy Spirit moving them to a next step spiritually.
-Pray that their next step will be clear to them, pray God reveals to them the exact area they need to grow in their relationship with Him.
-Pray for their family members.
-Pray for any circumstances you know about in their life.
-Pray that they find friends and community within your team.
2. Keep an Updated List of the Spiritual Nexts Steps of each Volunteer.
I used my own scheduling system as well Planning Center Online to schedule volunteers. But I also kept a Master List of everyone on the team. I built a spreadsheet that not only had routine demographic information (name, phone number, birthday, etc.), but had a column that actually listed what their spiritual next step was. I had trusted volunteers and staff members help me keep this list up to date.
If I didn’t know where a volunteer was in their spiritual walk with Christ, I would literally take them to lunch or coffee and ask them. Remember, pastor first. How can you lead them to a next step spiritually if you don’t know where they are in their walk? It’s your job to pastor them. Take the initiative to talk with them about where they are and where they believe God wants to take them.
I created a list of options to choose from. This was not a comprehensive list and would never be as everyone’s next step is different. But it at least gave me some handles to create resources and help people grow in their relationship with Jesus.
Here are the questions I would go by to determine their next step:
These first three were in priority and had to be answered in order:
Has this person accepted Christ?
Has this person been baptized after their salvation?
3. Church Membership/Ownership:
Is this person a member of our church?
You may be surprised in your search to find dedicated volunteers that haven’t taken one or all three of these crucial steps.
These other Next Steps are in random order. I would answer these and even add my own if they had a specific next step that didn’t fit nicely in one of these categories.
4. Study of the Bible:
Is this person growing in their time in the Word to the best of your knowledge?
5. Care & Prayer:
Do they need special attention, counseling, or help with a certain area of their life? Are they dealing with a major life or serious issue (divorce, depression, addiction, etc.)?
Are they ready for a leadership role on our team or in your church? Is there a position that can utilize their gifts? Can I create a position where they can use their gifts and skills?
7. Financial Planning/Tithing:
Do they need help getting out of debt and winning with their money? Are they tithing regularly?
Are they regularly involved in a small group? Are they in community with other believers?
Have they served in local or global missions? Would they be a good candidate to encourage to serve on a specific missions project?
3. Provide resources and opportunities for growth.
Again, everyone’s spiritual next step is different. But, as I listed above, there are some areas of growth that are common in the life of every believer. As their pastor, let me encourage you to provide resources and opportunities for them to grow in their walk with Christ. Let them know what your church believes and the opportunities your church has available for their growth. As a Media Director, I created printed resources (or grabbed resources the church had already created). I purchased a large paper organizer that I placed in our Control Room. Our volunteers could take and read material at their leisure.
Using the same list of next steps, here are several ideas for resources and opportunities that you can provide for your team:
Salvation, Baptism, Church Membership/Ownership:
–Provide brochures or printed material explaining your church’s core values or theological beliefs.
-Provide a list of the next scheduled baptism dates.
-Provide a list of your next Church Membership or Ownership class.
Study of the Bible:
-Provide a listing of available Bible Studies in your church.
-Teach a class on how to study the Bible for themselves.
-Provide printed Devotionals, Reading Plans, and Books for your team.
-Create a webpage, blog, or PDF with Links to Online Resources for your Team.
-Provide a list of topical resources or classes your church provides. Does your church provide Divorce Care, Celebrate Recovery, or other classes?
(You may be surprised that your volunteers may not know about the classes your church offers.)
-Create Prayer Teams that pray for the experience you’re creating as a team.
-Post prayer needs on your team’s Facebook group.
–Do you have a Core Volunteer Team that provides a system to raise up and empower leaders?
-Do you spend time thinking about the skills of your volunteers and how you can use their talents and abilities on your team?
-Provide a list of Financial Coaches and Classes your church provides.
-Promote the next Dave Ramsey or Budget Classes when they are offered at your church.
-Provide free budgeting tools for your team.
-Provide or promote when your small groups have open enrollment for the year.
-Provide a printed piece that lists out the steps to signing up or joining a small group.
-Make it a part of your communication to make yourself available to help them find a small group.
-Reserve time for your Groups Pastor to speak to your team occasionally.
-Provide a list of available Mission Trips your church is taking.
-Pray about and select a handful of your volunteers to suggest to your Missions Pastor to serve as leaders on a trip.
-Challenge one of your team members to lead a local missions project.
Don’t spend all your time solely on tasks for your ministry. Spend time praying for your team members. Keep an updated list of your team members’ next steps so you know how to serve them. Take time creating and providing resources for your team to grow spiritually.
You are their pastor first. The tasks your volunteers do for your ministry should be secondary to your team members growing in their relationship with Christ.
Creative Director / Owner
[twelve:thirty]media | Columbia, SC
Carl Barnhill has served on staff at some of the largest churches and organizations in the country. He served as Media Director at Precept Ministries International, directing the television and radio program Precepts for Life with Kay Arthur, broadcasted to over 98 million homes around the world. He served as Video Production Director at Pinelake Church in Brandon, MS, where he produced media content for four campuses, as well as led volunteer teams.
He most recently served as Video Coordinator for Newspring Church in South Carolina. Newspring has 10 campuses across the state with a weekly attendance of over 35,000. At one campus alone, the number of consistent volunteers serving in media production tripled, under his leadership.
He currently serves as Creative Director and Owner of [twelve:thirty]media, a company that serves churches and ministries all over the world through motion graphics content and church media coaching.