I read a lot and hear a lot of kidmin folks talk about volunteers. A person can’t hang out in circles of kidmin folks very long without hearing people claim they need more volunteers. Visit churches and see bulletins full of request for volunteers, clever commercials created asking for volunteers. Maybe you are even one of these ministries as well?
The sad note is, many are set up to make the new volunteer feel important and needed but the tried and true volunteer who has been faithful for years feel forgotten and more like a mule just plowing as usual. Maybe you have fallen under this category?
If we continue to treat the tried and true volunteers as though they are not important then we will never really end up with any tried and true’s because they will continue to leave. Yes we may draw in all the new ones but the back door of our volunteer ministry force will be so large we will never keep up with the demand. Create a volunteer appreciation person. This person will naturally have the gift of hospitality and administration. They will totally focus on creating and implementing a process to cover all of our volunteers both publicly and privately with appreciation.
Whether you have you been with us for a long time, short time or just joining our SFLCKids family, we have you covered. Why? Because we truly do care about you!
What about you? What is your way of loving on your volunteers? What message do you send about the importance of volunteers, being with you for a long time or new?
Depending on how you landed on this page, allow me to urge you before reading this post to start over on part 1, then go to part 2, then come back here to finish with part 3.
In Nehemiah’s third part of building successful teams, Nehemiah kept the teams focused on the big picture and their part in it. The people didn’t need a retreat, or an offsite conference. They needed to get the rocks out of the valley below and placed in the wall, and to finish the job before their enemies could organize.
In pursuing this great task Nehemiah went through what many of us go through as we pursue task that are bigger than ourselves. Here are just a few of the potentially crippling issues that arose but Nehemiah dealt with each one capably.
* The people had to be reassured against violent threats from their enemies, so Nehemiah posted guards so the work would continue (4:16-18).
* Relational problems erupted, so he took corrective measures (5:6-8).
* Enemies sent messages to set fear in their hearts (6:1-9).
Working through these problems and brushing aside distractions, Nehemiah kept everyone focused on the Bigger picture and their part in it.
God used Nehemiah to carry out a huge task through teams. I know that God can do a lot through you as well if you will take the time to follow the same steps that Nehemiah followed.
How are you keeping your teams focused and involved with the big picture and their part in it?
In Team building the Nehemiah way part one we discussed how he started with the big task of rebuilding the wall. You can read it here if you have not had the chance yet.
Now onto the second thing I see Nehemiah did in building teams that would see success.
Nehemiah set forth a lofty goal—rebuild the entire wall. This was a difficult task. It was a genuine BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goal). The priests and Levites could never do this alone. The job was too big for any one person or any single family. No other leader had been able to pull it off. All the people needed to work together to make this happen. The task cried out for many high-performance teams.
Then I said to them, “You see the trouble we are in: Jerusalem lies in ruins, and its gates have been burned with fire. Come, let us rebuild the wall of Jerusalem, and we will no longer be in disgrace.” I also told them about the gracious hand of my God upon me and what the king had said to me. They replied, “Let us start rebuilding.” So they began this good work.—Nehemiah
What lofty (BHAG) goals are you pursuing? Challenging your teams to?
Have you allowed ministry to become just the day in and day out type stuff?
We serve such a big God who wants the whole world to know about Him. It is way too big of an assignment we have all been given for life to be just business as usual.
Nehemiah is a great biblical example of someone who achieved incredible even jaw dropping success through teams. The protective walls of Jerusalem were in shambles. The people were divided and treating each other poorly. Yet Nehemiah rides in and helps the people rebuild the walls around the entire city in only 52 days! Here’s how.
First, he made sure he had a group that was committed to a common purpose, goals, and
approach and held each other accountable. They knew they could carry out more as a group than they ever could alone. Even though the officials, priests, and nobles ruled the city, they were not this kind of team I just described. They were simply a group of leaders by title. Nehemiah quickly figured out that the natural teams in the city were the family units, priests and Levites, and people formerly from the same geographic region.
These leaders could pull together their people into teams quickly and effectively. He divided the work into more than 40 sections along the wall and brought together family leaders and officials to get it done. (Check out the long list of real teams in Nehemiah 3:1-32.)
How do keep your volunteers committed to a common purpose, goals and approach?
Have you learned to truly spot the leaders in your church?
Thinking more is better
More is not always better. In fact, in many cases quality beats the quantity.
One way I would look at quality over quantity is moving from being the jack of all trades and the master of none. In this wonderful world of today with all the great networking and diverse teams that we are able to put together there really is no reason anymore (I’m not sure there ever was except we were all made to buy into that myth at one time) to have the thinking of being the one person show anymore. Discover your 20% that really allows you to contribute 80% of the results that only you can give. With the other 80% that you don’t need to be the go to person, opens the door for others who God has equipped with the gifts of some of that stuff being their top 20%. What a blessing to help “hands” to be the hands, or the “feet” to be the feet, or the “head” to be the head.
Here is another place I am recommending to focus on quality over quantity. Your team. I do understand this may not settle well for some who read this and some may even be thinking how can you discriminate against some of the team, but I would like to challenge you to think this over before coming to a judgement too quickly.
With your team I believe that not everyone on your team all have the same desire or interest to be involved at the same level. This is perfectly alright, so why is it not alright to invest in your top 20% who say they want to be there by giving more of your limited time and resources to them. I believe I see this is exactly what Jesus did knowing that His time here on earth was limited, as is ours, and He needed to set up something that was going to out live His time here on earth. Jesus had His 3, Peter, James, and John. Then we know that Jesus had His 12 Disciples (which the 3 are part of that group as well). Jesus had his 70 (or 72 depending on what translation you are reading because some manuscripts have 70 and some have 72).
Luke 10:1-2 – After this, the Lord chose seventy others and sent them out in pairs ahead of him into every town and place where he planned to go. 2 He said to them, “There are a great many people to harvest, but there are only a few workers. So pray to God, who owns the harvest, that he will send more workers to help gather his harvest.
Focusing on the things for you personally or on team members that bring the biggest rewards is a good strategy to be used your in life.