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Why You Don't Need Any Volunteers in Your Ministry

I served in local churches as a children's pastor for over 28 years. During those 28 years, I had the joy of serving with some amazing leaders.

The best team builder I ever served with was the leader of the nursery and preschool ministries at one of our campuses.

When I would visit the campus where she served, there was always a great volunteer team serving with her. Every room had an adequate number of volunteers. In many rooms, there were extra volunteers. The volunteers were also smiling and you could tell they enjoyed serving in their different roles.

I asked her one Sunday how she got her volunteers and how she keep them on her team.

She paused and then she said this.

"I don't have volunteers. I have FRIENDS."

That profound statement made it clear how she was building such an amazing team. She knew that the way to build a great volunteer team was to treat them as her best friend.

You see, building a volunteer team that will last in children's ministry, is accomplished through relationships.

I believe this -

The amount of time people serve on your team is in direct correlation with the depth of the relationships they build with the other people they serve with.

So how do you build relationships with your volunteers?

Place them in a role that aligns with their gifts and passion. This shows you care about them and want the best for them. What do potential volunteers usually say when you ask where they want to serve?

"Wherever you need me."

And the temptation is to place them where you need them. Don't do that. Instead, place them where they need to be. As I just stated. Place them in a role that matches up with their gifts and talents and passion.

Build a relationship with them. Take time to get to know them. Spend time with them. Have volunteers over to your house for a cookout, game night, etc. Hang out with them outside of church. Have parties with no agenda but having fun together.

Honor them. Remember their birthday. Recognize them on their serving anniversaries.

Treat them like a close friend. Pray for them. Encourage them.

Invest in them and help them become a better leader. Provide them with leadership books to read. Podcasts to listen to. Videos to watch.

Be there for them. Be at the funeral home with them when a loved one has passed away. Be there for them when they are going through a tough time. Be there for them when they lose their job. Be there for them when their child is sick. Just show up. They won't remember everything you said, but they will remember that you were there for them.

Encourage them. A thank you note. A prayer for them. Kind and comforting words in their time of need. Show them that you believe in them.

You don't need any more volunteers for your ministry. You need friends. Friends that serve with you faithfully and always have your back. It takes time to build a team of friends. But when you do get a team of friends serving with you, the ministry possibilities are numerous.


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