Everything we do, think, or dream to offer developmentally appropriate faith formation experiences for little people and their families is dependent on volunteers. Our volunteers and servant leaders are actually living out their discipleship with their hands, feet, and faces as they set tables, sing songs (how theology sticks), and tell of the accounts of Jesus from the Bible.
When we invite folks to serve, we are saying, “I’m gonna walk through this next season as a guide from the side to be the disciple-maker your Heavenly Father has called you to be. And here’s a t-shirt!”
Paul’s letter to the Ephesians gives us our marching orders to equip God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up. (Ephesians 4:11-12).
When we invite folks to serve, we are also saying, “You can trust me to teach, train, provide resources, and follow-up with you so you know we are in this together. I’ll see you. I’ll hear you. I’ll pray for you. And here’s a t-shirt!”
As you begin to recruit and dream for a new season of ministry,
1. Remember to tithe 10% of your time each week serving your volunteer team with phone calls, texts, thank yous, and your ministry of presence with some eye-to-eye contact.
2. Remember to ask questions of your volunteer team members to find out their time rhythms for the summer and the coming fall season. Listen.
3. Remember to affirm your volunteer servants they are living out their discipleship to go into all the world to make disciples. There’s nothing like a personal fan club of little disciples who are eager to become whole-hearted disciples of Jesus to encourage us all along our own personal journey of faith because of our faithful witness.
4. Remember to enjoy the company of your volunteer servants as brothers and sisters in the family of faith, so plan some fun with no expectation. The first phone call to a new person is always about the person, not the ask. The second phone call can be about the ask.
5. Remember to make some new friends in the Lord as folks linger after church on those summer Sundays. Invite folks to lunch or offer freeze pops for the littles to chat and laugh with your team in the parking lot. Clean out the cooler on wheels and attach a good pair of kid’s scissors and a trash bag.
6. Remember you’ll never have all the volunteers you think you need, but the Lord has already provided what He can use to multiply the team necessary to fulfill His plan for the ministry you lead right here, right now. Be faithful to invite and recruit.
7. Remember the Lord will provide the increase, you are called to obediently accept your position as His ambassador with joy and trust. If you lose your joy, you’ll lose your impact.
8. Remember to add your volunteer servants to your summer bucket list. Ministry is always about relationships with people. His people. Your people. Love them well to Jesus!
9. Remember these amazing volunteer servants are also how YOU live out YOUR discipleship. Be a delight to your fellow brothers and sisters in Christ!
10. Don’t forget the t-shirt!
Tonight, May 24th, I’ll be co-hosting alongside Rev. Dr. Kevin Johnson who leads the Ministry With Children for Discipleship Ministries a Family Table Zoom meeting at 5pm ET, 4pm CT to chat all things volunteers. Come to the table by registering here. All are invited to the first MWC (Ministry with Children) Family Table. Pull up a seat, connect, and have conversation with others passionate about children and family ministries. The meeting will be recorded, but we hope you’ll come to the table for real.
“Now may the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.” Hebrews 13:20-21