We are going through a process at One Church Bristol of refreshing teams across the church after a vision event in January. We enlisted a number of new volunteers through a leaflet detailing six areas of need. The goal was to open the doors of volunteerism wider, and remove any organisational obstacles to involvement. This approach is now wired into our ‘Journey into One Church’ programme, helping new people to belong, and serve. Our areas included Hospitality, Tech and IT, Healthy House, Prayer team, Children’s Church and Admin.
You see, the church is God’s house and sometimes the pastor can be like the mother that’s cooking the meal, cleaning the house, answering the door and mowing the lawn, while the congregation sit like teenagers in the living room switched off to responsibility and ignorant of the many needs and demands of both the vision and the Kingdom.
So how do we get them up and involved? Here’s a few ideas…
Paint a vivid picture of your preferred future, and the values necessary to make it happen. Stir up the gift of inspiration! Exemplify passion for the cause of Jesus Christ. If you look like you don’t like your job, no one is going to want to be you.
Have you got a clear process for getting people in your church involved on teams? If visitors are connecting with you, how clear is the next step for them? Often, involvement in a team can be crucial to helping a person feel they belong to the family and vision. Do you and your team know this process well?
Possibly run a ministry fayre highlighting teams/needs or produce literature. Run a vision event and give everyone a leaflet where they can sign up and serve.
Personally take people out for a meal and make a ‘big ask’. Make some clear open doors and pray for God to stir up people’s hearts to serve the Kingdom. See what comes of it!
Heat up the value of serving by teaching it, and publicly honouring great volunteers in your church. Show people a vision of a ‘body’ ministry, and don’t succumb to the temptation to take it all upon yourself.
How are your volunteers doing right now? What can you do to refresh, bolster and develop them? Be pro-active about caring for your volunteers. Action: Set up regular meets with key volunteers. Coach them according to their needs and your vision. Affirm them and encourage them regularly.
6. Focus on the young
If you have even 1 young person, mentor them, love them and believe in them – they may just have the energy and charisma to start a revolution and change the future of your church.
7. Read a book
Bill Hybels – ‘The Volunteer Revolution’ is a good place to start.