Every Position Can and Should be Ran by a Volunteer
Your team is your most important priority in your church’s ministry. Without a team of dedicated people serving with you, you will be unable to accomplish and fully carry out the vision God has for you. I am convinced that when we as leaders in the church hold on to everything and are unwilling to bring other people into what we are doing our impact will be less than if we had replicated our leadership in others from the beginning. This is the premise that I believe that God wants us to build our ministry teams off of. No position is off limits. Everyone on your team should be constantly working and growing into new opportunities to serve.
Now hear me here, this doesn’t mean that EVERY POSITION is the right spot for EVERY VOLUNTEER. There are some spots that are best suited by someone with a specific gift set. The greeter at your door needs a different set of gifts than the person who is helping you park cars. The person who helps fill coffee cups probably has a different personality than the person who is leading in your kids ministry. Everyone has a role to play but everyone’s role may be different based on how God has uniquely made and gifted each of us. (1 COR. 12:27)
I want to share with you 3 ways that you can ensure every position is made available to your volunteers and then I want to share with you 3 ways that I believe you will see God bless your obedience on your team as you foster a culture of bringing others along with your ministry.
3 ways you can ensure every position is made available to new volunteers
First, have an excellent training process.
To do this, you as a staff person, need to know the inner workings of what you are asking people to do in that role. When you have walked in this roles shoes you will be able to define what the role is, how it is accomplished, what is a success for that role and what are potential points of failure. When you know the role you are asking your team to step into you will be prepared to help volunteers step into those roles. Find creative ways to train your team.
Second, combat the STAFF ONLY mindset.
There will be a mindset that will come in your church, that a staff person needs to run this because it just goes so much better. After all, they are the paid “expert” to accomplish that task. Instead foster a place where people can learn. I will tell you, that the only way I got good at things was repetition. Your volunteers need time and grace to learn. Now that may mean that maybe you have to setup up avenues for them to learn at a lower cost level. So maybe they run a secondary computer for pro presenter lyrics until they feel confident to step into the primary. Or maybe you bring them in for a service run through with live tracks and have them mix last Sunday service until they feel confident about everything they need to do. Don’t section certain positions off for STAFF ONLY, instead find people in your team that have the right attitude and skill sets for these specific roles.
Thirdly, work to see your new volunteers succeed.
So I think this is most important step. Don’t just throw volunteers out into positions without caring for their process. Walk with them through the journey. For instance, you have a new team mate who is working at stage managing. Have conversations about what went well on a Sunday and what could be improved. Listen to their feedback and work find ways to help them get better and thrive at what they are being asked to do. Remember that they are seeing things with fresh eyes and you can truly benefit from their perspective.
I believe that if we as churches create excellent training processes, combat the STAFF ONLY mindset, and work with our volunteers to help them succeed each week that God will bless our obedience and our ministry teams there will be
3 specific outcomes we can expect to see
First, I believe you will be able to accomplish more.
As you bring more people in the journey with you you will be able to accomplish more, greater things. Jesus had disciples, he poured into them during his ministry on earth and then he left them. These men would go on to spread the Gospel to the ends of the earth. We are reaping the benefits of this model. Jesus started with a few and sent them out and they grew and grew. So as you bring more people into your ministry you will be able to expand what you can do. As a worship team the more you grow you can have rotations to do different services during the month and then maybe you can send your “off teams” out to other churches to bless or serve them. Your production teams, as you grow and expand, you will be able to start new campuses or help other churches with creating teams and cultures and training.
Secondly, you won’t be dependent on one person.
By letting every position be run by volunteers, this allows the work and the impact of your ministry not to be based off of just one or a handful of staff memebers. If you build your whole team around you being there to keep it going when you aren’t there, it will fail. If you build your team to excellently do the ministry you are called to then when you are gone (wether for vacation, or travel, or whatever it may be), your team will be prepared and ready to carry the mantle and continue to excellently serve Jesus the same way you always have.
Lastly, you will see ripple effects in the months and years to come.
If you are allowing new people to join your team, learn, grow, and lead, this will allow your churches impact to last for the long term and not just the short term. At my church we have been memorizing 2 Timothy. In chapter 1 Paul is about to die and he is writing to his friend Timothy. He is challenging him to keep the faith and press on in the hope of the Gospel. What does this have to do with my last point, here it is, Paul knew his impact was coming to an end, he handed the mantle of leadership off to Timothy. He had been a part of Timothy’s life and now it was Timothy’s turn.
Now when I say this I don’t mean to puff but if you are PAUL in your ministry who is your Timothy? Who are your Timothy’s? Have people that you are pouring into so that when you time is done that God will continue to be able to build off the ministry He has already done for you?
I am praying that God would expand your ministry so that you can see more people far from God come and learn and live the ways of Jesus.