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volunteer

Insane Volunteer recruiting part 2

Here is part two of Insane Volunteering.

Let’s start with the all too common “guilting” a person into serving or staying. When I first started in ministry I had my pastor tell all of us all the time that he trust that we talk and listen to God, and that is part of our responsibility as we lead our ministries. That thinking has carried over for me as well with what I expect from my volunteers that I am entrusting into the rooms to pour into the kids that God has brought in. I trust that a person is walking with the Lord, and if they conclude that they are not sensing God’s leading them to serve in children’s ministry, or to stay in children’s ministry, then why would I try and make them feel guilty in order to get them in or keep them. I may ask questions to find out why they won’t commit or continue – often it’s because of a misperception or an issue that can be solved – but I will never attempt to make them feel guilty. Bless and encourage them as they walk in obedience to the plans that God has for them.

If people can’t hear God as to if they should stay or go do you really want them responsible to hear God to invest into the lives of kids who are very impressionable? So stop the GUILTING.

Here is another part of insanity recruiting. One of the big reasons people don’t serve is a false understanding of what is being required. People are often intimidated by what they think they will be asked to do. This is one of the easiest things to change. Create ministry descriptions! Show people you have though through this stuff. Encouraging and responding to questions they might have is essential to clarifying expectations and having them make an informed decision about committing. Have the descriptions handy so they can read over them in their own time and they don’s feel pressured to answer you there on the spot. Follow up with those you give descriptions to to answer everything.

How many times have you done or heard someone “guilt” someone to stay or lay out the guilt speech and then maybe end it with…”I am just messing with you.” You know, I know and so does the person that is being guilted that it is serious. Stop this guilting!

How many times has someone come and inquired about the cm and you have nothing to give them to take and think through with? Or you can’t answer some of the basic info like how much time is required? What skills are best to have? How long is the commitment for? Who do I report to? What kind of support will I have if I do this? Have you answered their questions?

Read the rest here:
Volunteer recruitment
Volunteer recruiting part 1
Volunteer recruiting part 3

Insane volunteer recruiting

I have always heard that the definition of insanity was trying to do the same thing the same way and expect different results. What I don’t get is why for so many this applies to all areas of life except when it comes to recruiting volunteers. I still hear and see people doing the same things the same way and complaining they still do not have enough volunteers. It is time to stop the INSANITY!!

Ministry happens best through relationships. To connect with someone for the sole purpose of recruiting them for your empty spot will make people feel used. So connect for the purpose of relationships, not just recruiting. When we do this, we not only open the door for the person to serve, but we also open the door for the person to be ministered to, for friendship, for leadership development and so much more.

The right person for the right fit usually does not happen through bulletin or pulpit announcement. The “stickiness” of mass appeal is typically minimal. By that I mean that it’s relatively easy ( actually a lazy way but often times gives that false feeling that we are doing our recruiting job) to get a lot of people to fill out a card or respond to a emotional plee, but the follow through or longevity of that type of answer is usually not very good. Why? Perhaps it goes back to #1. I require my leaders spending time building relationships than creating a mass appeal.

How are you doing with relationships? Have you invested in building relationships or is your team invested in relationships? If you stay so busy and always in the rooms with the kids then how can you build relationships?

It is when you dont build the relationships and your team is not doing it either that bulk announcements seem appealing, but that doesn’t mean it works.

Theres the two I am talking about today and will lay out more over the next couple of days. You can read them here:
Volunteer recruiting part 1
Volunteer recruiting part 2
Volunteer recruiting part 3

Are you Buzzing your volunteers?

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The other day I had a great idea, I could cut my own hair!! I thought really how hard could it be? Well, I soon found out. We went to Walmart and bought these clippers with all these different guides of various lengths, and the kit had all kind of great gadgets and all as well. When I got home off to the bathroom with a sheet (to stand on to catch all the hair) I went.

Now let me tell you a little about myself that I too am very aware of as well. I have no patience. I mean like none. I also enjoy getting things started and when I have built teams that love to do what ever I had started then I love to leave it to those teams to continue on while I go and take a new hill to only repeat the process. Well, knowing this about myself you would think surely I would understand that hair cutting is probably not the job for me. Wrong! I tried it anyways.

You can see the result for yourself how wrong I was in trying to convince myself that cutting my own hair was any kind of a good idea.

This made me begin to think, how often I have seen volunteers get set up for a buzz as well.

What I mean is this, sometimes we don’t take the time to either get to know our volunteers or we just don’t pay attention to them and their gifts and talents because we want to fill holes in our ministries instead of placing people where they will be successful. It was not a good idea for me to try and cut my own hair knowing what I know about me, because after 4 minutes I was done and instead resorted to just buzzing everything off. I did not set myself up for success. Our volunteers when we do not pay attention to them and place appropriately we set them up for failure as well. We may give them great tools, I had great clippers and all the accessories, but I still should not have cut my hair. A misplaced volunteer may have all the greatest stuff at their disposal but will not be able to taste success because they are in the wrong place.

Take time to get to know your volunteers. Ministry is about relationships, not filling holes. Don’t buzz your volunteers, groom them for success.

Power of Kindness

This afternoon I was walking into the church after taking a little time to go with my wife to Starbucks, when in the lobby of the church was this lady and her two kids along with one of our office secretaries named Mary. Mary announced to them that “here is our children’s pastor now.” I walked over there to see why I was being introduced and to say hello to the family.

Now is where this true story that happened today gets real good. The lady with the kids began to explain how they came to our church the previous week for the State wide home school testing that we allow to be held at our church as a way to be a blessing. During this time and with the mobs of kids and parents everywhere, this lady wants to just go and find a quiet place for her and her son while the daughter is testing. She finds a little spot that she feels will be ok but wonders if she has traveled into an area that will get her in trouble. No sooner this thought comes into her mind one of our custodians named Stacey comes by and she begins to explain why she was were she was. Stacey very kindly looks at her and affirms that she is alright but he wondered if her son likes to play video games? To no surprise of his or the mom the son says yes. Stacey tells the mom and son to follow him as he proceeds to take them into our gym which has video games in it. Stacey hooks the games up and turns them all on so the son can play.

Through this experience of what some may have considered not too big of an ordeal, it made such an impression on her through his generosity of taking time to do this even though he was very busy that she has decided to attend our church now. Thanks Stacey for being Jesus in the flesh and making time for this family. It goes to show again the true power of just being kind.

People are not committed

I hear this all the time, that the people in their church just are not committed. What are people talking about? Are those who say this talking about being committed to the local church? A denomination? To service? To a pastor? To a board? Committee? What is their definition of “People are just not committed”?

Our culture requires absolute commitment to very little, and then when our churches call for commitment it is kind of counter-cultural to call for commitment to an institution, a belief system, or to a person. The lack of commitment is why we do what we do, not the obstacle to what we do. The people we come in contact with daily need examples of faithfulness and commitment in order to reproduce that commitment in their own lives as dads, wives, children, employees, employers, neighbors and more.

Select carefully but select what each of us want to celebrate. When we see commitment that is being lived out and applied we need to highlight that and celebrate it loud. We can often times live with what I will call the negative child syndrome. This is where only the negative child gets the attention and the one that does right gets ignored. Should we always pay attention to the squeakiest wheel? Why not shift our attention to the wheel that is moving well?

I think often times in Children’s ministry to name just one, we can feel as though the whole world is against us. When was the last time we found a family and highlighted them and their great contributions to the children’s ministry by doing a video commercial on them and showing it in the adult sanctuary in front of their peers? How do we celebrate loudly those that live the commitment we are asking for or desire to see in the lives of those we minister to? I often times talk with Children’s pastors and hear from them that they have a discipline policy set up but I am not sure I have ever heard of one yet that has a “Attaboy” type policy set up to celebrate loudly those who are living the commitment.

So if your commitment level seems to be low where you are, check to see how well you are doing in celebrating the “Attaboy” type stuff.

Stop being lazy and trying to have your bulletin announcement do your job of helping people to see the difference they can make in an area of your ministry.

Check your volume and make sure that the celebrations are much louder the any complaint.

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