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Volunteer ministry is one of the most pressing topics among church leaders today – and rightfully so. Nothing can propel your ministry further and faster than thriving, healthy volunteers. Developing a thriving volunteer ministry is arguably the best way to ensure the long-term health and vitality of your church.

"Healthy volunteers are growing in their relationship with God. People who are growing in their relationship with God naturally desire to serve."

But many churches still have questions when it comes to creating a comprehensive volunteer strategy. Some have volunteers that seem to do everything but are looking for other people to share the load. Others are great at recruiting but don’t know how to train or equip their volunteers properly.

Which takes priority – discipleship or volunteering?

The short answer to this trick question: Both.

This is a new concept for many churches because they traditionally have separated the spiritual growth ministry from the volunteer ministry when in reality, the two go hand-in-hand.

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Here are five critical tenets of developing and fostering healthy volunteer operations that lead to healthy ministry.

Recruiting 

Volunteers are perhaps the single greatest asset of any community of faith. Healthy churches empower individuals to be actively engaged in ministry rather than passively participating in events. But how do you go about growing your volunteer base? Training pastors about volunteer management is one of the greatest skill sets needed for local church ministry.

 

Training

Training volunteers is an integral component of making an impact on our communities and spreading the Gospel. However, that doesn’t mean it is an easy task by any means. Volunteer scheduling conflicts and the limited time available to devote to training and equipping volunteers are just two of the challenges that make it difficult for church leaders.

Placing

Volunteers are a precious component of church life. When the purpose of each puzzle piece is made clear, volunteers can do amazing work to grow the Kingdom. Providing them with a job description is a great foundation for equipping them to own a particular area of ministry – and volunteers with job descriptions are more motivated, feel more effective, and last longer than volunteers without one.

Supporting

These five steps are critical if you want to move your volunteers from the mindset of simply filling a volunteer role to actually being the ministry of the church. Volunteers who have been given the tools to succeed are the glue that holds the Body together. Your volunteers are much less likely to fall through the cracks when a well-equipped strategy is in place.

Monitoring

Your church’s process for training, equipping, and supporting volunteer leaders impacts your potential for growth more than any other aspect of your ministry. Therefore, we should leverage every tool we have if we want to be good stewards of the people God has entrusted to us. Technology enables you to continue to support and monitor volunteers once they’re plugged in. 

As your church implements the ideas in these articles you will also see a discipleship-level growth that naturally multiplies. Together, volunteerism and discipleship will work together to produce a healthy ministry for God’s glory.

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