If there is one conversation that every church leader has with themselves from time to time, it is the one about calling, vocation, or God's will. Many of us stress about it. We fret over it. We wonder sometimes if we got it all wrong and maybe there was static in the line when we heard God's voice.
What if we misinterpreted the ‘holy nudge’ we were so clear about?
This struggle is the same for those on staff of churches and for those sitting in the pew. In fact, most people have spent very little time in the area of self-discovery. So when someone joins a church or expresses interest in serving in some capacity, we immediately try to shove them into a predefined spot that isn't necessarily a great fit. Then when they burn out or they prematurely quit, we blame them for not being committed and following through.
But that’s only our perspective.
"... this struggle is the same for those on staff of churches and for those sitting in the pew...."
For the volunteer, it’s a frustrating experience, disheartening even, and often leaves them feeling more reluctant to try something else next time.
But technology helps us change that. It offers us the chance to match the skills, interest and experience we uncover during the connections process with ministry needs. When you need volunteers for groundskeeping or leading summer Bible school, don't just send out a blanket invitation to anyone. Why not customize the invitation to the person with skills, interests and experience that matches the needs of the position?
When you do that …
- People work harder because it's their passion.
- People have a higher chance of experiencing success in whatever they do.
- People ‘in their zone’ attract others with similar interests.
In Chris Mavity’s ebook, ‘Your Volunteers: From Come-and-See to Come-and-Serve,’ Mavity discusses how to better enable, empower and equip church leaders to better enable, empower and equip our greatest ministry asset – our people.
Volunteers, when placed in positions that align with their skills, talents, and passions, are more likely to succeed and thrive than those simply selected to fill a need, regardless of their skills and talents.
Think of it this way: Sports organizations don’t just go around and arbitrarily pull people from the stands and the check-out line at the grocery store to start in that weekend’s big game. They research each and every person intended for their team. It’s thoughtful and careful and very deliberately executed. Entire meetings are centered around how just one person could change the course of history for their team.
So what if we started to see the people in our church as our greatest asset, and we scoured our pews like scouts from the bleachers in search of the right people for the right positions? We might be able to change the course of history for our church, too.
So it’s important to understand the first two steps – again, much like a sports organization – to healthy volunteers: recruiting and training.
"...for the volunteer, it’s a frustrating experience, disheartening even, and often leaves them feeling more reluctant to try something else next time..."
RECRUIT: There are two common recruitment tactics employed in ministry – slot filling and person selection – with each approach meeting specific needs and with both recruiting strategies being necessary because not all volunteers are created equal. For roles and positions that are short-term and have less influence, filling a slot works fine. But then there are ministry positions where it’s important to select the right person with a specific skill set – such as a singer or a worship leader.
TRAIN: There are two types of training, orientation training and ongoing training, and each allows you to communicate expectations, prepare volunteers for service, and impart wisdom. Orientation training helps your volunteers understand the role, responsibilities, and expected outcomes of the assignment. Ongoing training is focused on life-skills development – helping your volunteers become a better version of themselves.
But how could a leader possibly know this?
ENTER: My Fit, an effective, tangible solution from Church Community Builder.
‘My Fit’ is a tool that allows a congregant to include their abilities, passions, personality style, and spiritual gifts in their profile. This information is vital when it comes to placing the right people in the right roles according to their passions and capabilities.
With unlimited profiles, you can keep a record of everyone who’s interacted with your church. Download your free copy of "Your Volunteers: Place" Capture people’s spiritual gifts, passions, and abilities to help them get connected with ministry opportunities that fit their unique calling. Each profile also gives you a picture of that person’s history and involvement, so you know who they are and where they’re at.
With technology, we can support and equip our volunteers – and help our volunteer leaders identify prospective volunteers. It is the safety net that volunteers can use to ensure no one is falling through the cracks and helps us match an individual’s skills, interest and experience with ministry needs.
And if we want to be good stewards of the people God has entrusted to us, we should leverage every tool we have!
There's always a next step:
Volunteers are a precious component of church life. And they can do amazing work to help grow the Kindgom. Download our NEW ebook, "Your Volunteers: Place". It isn’t about staffing a team of random people; it’s about knowing enough about each individual to offer a customized volunteer opportunity to fit their specific interests, skills, passions and gifts.