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Welcoming Guests and First Impressions

The sermon starts in the parking lot, and the impression you make for your guests on Sunday morning during the first 10 minutes will be indelible.

Technology and The Church

Leveraging technology for ministry can be an incredible blessing. But it can also be fraught with problems and pitfalls. Learn how to use technology well.

Vision and Leadership

Our God longs for leaders to request of Him to do that which they cannot. Faith filled vision, leadership and risk are key ingredients for ministry.

Preaching and Communication

You know and understand how challenging it is to communicate. It is hard to get and capture people's attention. Learn how to communicate effectively.

Creativity and Innovation

Being creative means asking the right questions and making new associations. Discover new and creative ideas for your ministry.

Showing posts with label Volunteers. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Volunteers. Show all posts

5 Tips To Help Turn Volunteers Into Superstars!

Ok, sure you've recruited your volunteers, they've signed on the dotted line but NOW WHAT?

Now you have to TRAIN them! Training though isn't just ONE and DONE, rather it is an ongoing process and investment into your volunteers.

Continual training and development is very important. Because it not only helps with your volunteer's overall enjoyment and performance but it also helps in retention. Remember, it takes less energy to continually equip your volunteers than it does trying to recruit new ones.

But it's not enough just to train, you need to do it well! But how?

1. Make sure your volunteers know your ministry's overall mission. Never assume your leaders know your goals if you haven't told them (or told them recently) what they are. People who don't know how they fit into the big picture quickly lose their enthusiasm. Also, always tie your training in to a specific ministry goal or part of the ministry's vision.

2. Leave time at the end of each training session to make sure they understand what you taught. Encourage and beg them to ask questions about what they're learning. Never end a training time without asking them to repeat, somehow, what they've learned. Group activities can help reinforce spoken teaching.

3. Tell your volunteers where they can get more information on a training topic. Refer your leaders to printed, websites and online video resources that can give more in-depth information on a particular topic.

4. Don't assume your volunteers "got it" the first time. Don't be afraid to hit a crucial training topic more than once. For example, if you train your volunteers on building relationships with teenagers, hit the same topic at your next meeting with a lab experience or roll play. Repetition helps makes training STICK!

5. Give your volunteers something to take with them that includes the important training tips. It's important for your volunteers to have an ongoing reminder of what they learn in training meetings.


The 5 Most Strategic Ways To Recruit More Volunteers

recruit volunteers
The Ministry Best Practices Staff will be on vacation and will be entering a "tech-free" zone. Therefore for the week we are sharing some of the best of MBP. Some of the content has been repurposed and updated.

It doesn't matter if you are a church of 50, 500 or 50000, - encouraging and mobilizing volunteers seems to be the perennial challenge in ministry. At my church we are constantly wrestling through this issue. I don't presume to have the final word on this, but here have been some of my thoughts and teachings about how to more effectively get more volunteers.

1. Develop leaders first. Volunteers will only work under competent leaders. Therefore it is your job to develop, to coach and to pour into leaders. Emerging leadership is one of your most important assets. Make sure you have good leadership first and then from that volunteers will grow.

2. Stop fishing from the same pond- You can only know so many people. Malcolm Gladwell says that most people connect within only small and intimate circles of relationships. Therefore the key to recruiting is to be able to get into other relational circles. In order to do that, you need to ask your key volunteers to intentionally tap into their circles. Ask your volunteers to recruit their own team themselves because chances are they know people you don't even know.

3. Equip your volunteers - people are not merely tools in order to accomplish your ministry goals and objectives. But unfortunately, too often, we treat them that way. You need to value your volunteers. Train, equip and develop your volunteers. Make sure they know that they are going to walk away with an added value for volunteering, in other words, a free prize inside. In other words, it isn't so much about "getting" from your volunteers, but rather "giving" to them.

4. Simply ask. Most of the time, the people you need to serve in your ministry area are simply sitting in your church doing nothing. The reason for this is because all they hear are asks, pleas and challenges from the platform. And suffice it say, "Everyone's challenge" is too often "No one's challenge". Not everybody will respond to a corporate challenge (also read my post about Communication from the Platform). Sometimes all you need to do is to take the initiative and ask.

5. Communicate Vision, not Need. To often when churches communicate the need for volunteers it sounds like begging. "We need to fill spots!" "We need your help!" Most people don't respond to that kind of plea. People will respond to vision and outcomes. People want to know that their serving will have purpose and gives them a real opportunity to impact the Kingdom of God.

What say you? How do you get more volunteers to serve?

from original post HERE

Want To Be More Happier At Work? Practice Gratitude

Gratitude
It is important and vital to practice gratitude. We must, not only have an attitude of thankfulness, but also we must continually be thanking those around us who serve in our church or organization, whether they are volunteers or paid staff. Gratitude is powerful. But the problem is that too often gratitude gets overlooked, yet science says, don't ignore it! Here is an interesting post from 99u concerning the science around practicing and experiencing gratitude.

excerpted from 99u

In 2013, a study from the John Templeton Foundation found that offices are the least common place to either hear or express gratitude.

At first glance, the workplace—where we devote long hours, develop important relationships, and regularly participate in teamwork—seems an unlikely candidate for the title of World’s Least Appreciative Environment. But in reality, the speed at which we move through our daily motions, a lack of understanding around individual talents and contributions (read: what your colleague is actually doing over there), and a bad tendency to attribute the bulk of credit to people at the top puts gratitude in meager supply. In short, everyone loves to be thanked, but no one really prioritizes it.

It’s normal to give gratitude a backseat when your brain’s full of to-dos, but a growing body of science suggests forgetting your thank you’s might be to blame for unhappiness at work. 

According to Harvard Health, research in positive psychology shows that “gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships.” Even more studies, old and new, show significant and concrete correlations between increased gratitude and improved happiness—in work and in life.
Studies, old and new, show significant and concrete correlations between increased gratitude and improved happiness—in work and in life.

So how can you boost your outlook and improve workplace morale with gratitude? The key is making thankfulness a habit, which you can do in just a few minutes a day. Here are our three favorite gratitude exercises, backed by research, for getting it done.

1. Make a gratitude list

A daily exercise of listing several things you’re grateful for can increase happiness by 25 percent, and only takes a few minutes. Your lists can include anything you’re grateful for, but regularly including a few work-related items will support a more positive outlook on the job.

2. Create an environment of thankfulness

In 2010, a study by Adam Grant and Francesca Gino explored how gratitude motivated pro-social behavior—or in other words, how thanking someone for something motivated future acts of support. After being thanked for their personal contributions, participants in the study experienced increased feelings of value and worth, which in turn more than doubled their likelihood of repeating that helpful behavior.

For everyone, this study unveils an easy way to support the self-esteem of your colleagues. For people at the management level, it also suggests just how much support and productivity you could be losing by not expressing gratitude. To make sure you’re taking advantage of the benefits of appreciation and acknowledgment, try building intentional and genuine thanking into your team meetings or one-on-ones. 

3. Acknowledge every contribution

While it’s much easier to high-five a visible leader in your organization for her or his teams’ accomplishments, acknowledging the whole team with a warm email will highlight the critical support of each individual, and boost the happiness of an entire group of individuals instead of just one.

How about you?

Has gratitude shaped your church and ministry?

5 Reasons Why Volunteering Will Make You A Better Pastor

Raised Hands


from Michael Bayne

Volunteering is good for the soul! Here are five reasons pastors should take time to volunteer …
  • We’re all called to live sacrificial lives. I know you may get paid to serve in your church, but you are called to live sacrificially. Volunteering helps us go beyond our job descriptions and give away our influence and time for God.
  • We need to remember what it’s like to volunteer so we can lead volunteers better. If you want to know how volunteers feel when they serve and what they need from you, then take time to volunteer yourself and you will learn some powerful lessons.
  • We need to set the example for those we lead. As a ministry leader, you set the tone for the sacrificial heart of your church. Lead the way in serving!
  • We need to get to know people in our community. When you volunteer, you will always get to know people better in your church and in your community. Volunteer at your local school, serve on a board, coach a sport and get to know people in your city.
  • We need to remember it’s all about advancing God’s mission. When we volunteer to help a ministry out that might not be in our job description, we are building the Kingdom. We are pushing forward God’s plan and not our own."
(ht: ChurchLeaders.com)

How To Recruit & Lead Your Volunteers

As we are on vacation during these next couple of days, Ministry Best Practices will be posting the "Best of" articles on different topics that have been some of the more popular posts over the years.

Today we are going to focus on volunteers. How do you find and recruit them for your ministry? Once they are serving, how do you continue to motivate, encourage and lead them?

11 Ways To Empower Your Volunteers

How To Move Members Into Ministry

How To Get More Volunteers

How To Motivate Those Who Serve

3 Reasons For People To Volunteer


Do all you can for everyone who deserves your help. Don't tell your neighbor to come back tomorrow, if you can help today.  --Proverbs 3:27, 28 CEV

Top 8 Volunteer Interview Questions






As you consider volunteers to fulfill certain responsibilities and positions in your church -  you aren't just simply looking for warm-bodies. You want people who are have a heart for God, qualifying skills and a passion for the ministry area they seek to serve within. Therefore, what are the must ask questions when considering high-level volunteers for your ministry scope and area? 

from  Elle Campbell (some of these are examples surrounding children's ministry, but can be adapted easily to any ministry area.)

1. TELL ME YOUR STORY. Listen, and then share your own.


2. WHAT YOUR INTERESTS, GIFTS, AND PASSIONS? Aside from the role they’ve signed up for, are there any hidden gifts or talents they might want to use for ministry?


3. WHY DO YOU WANT TO WORK WITH THIS AGE GROUP? Find out why working with kids that age appeals to them. Do they have realistic expectations of what it will be like?


4. WHY DO YOU WANT TO SERVE IN THIS CAPACITY? Have they caught the vision of the role they’re signing up for? Do they understand why it matters?


5. DO YOU FEEL COMFORTABLE TALKING A KID THROUGH MAKING A DECISION FOR JESUS? You might be surprised how many people don’t feel prepared or comfortable with this. Coach them through it.


6. HOW DO YOU TAKE CARE OF YOUR OWN SPIRITUAL HEALTH? Are they practicing community? Is spiritual growth a priority? Are they living the kind of life you’d want kids to emulate?


7. DO YOU UNDERSTAND THE EXPECTATIONS OF THIS ROLE? Walk through the details of the role: like when to show up, how to prepare, and what exactly it means to succeed in their role.


8. DO YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS? Is anything still unclear? Do they disagree with any part of your ministry philosophy or strategy? Any major concerns they want to voice? Give them permission and the space to be honest.

11 Ways To Empower Your Volunteers

from Michael Bayne:

Here are a few lessons I have learned over the years …

  • Let Them Lead—Don’t ask a high impact volunteer to join your team if you’re not ready to let them lead. Make room for your team to actually lead with you!
  • Take Time to Listen—If you have a high impact team around you, create time to really listen to what they are experiencing.
  • Be Patient—Volunteers have limited time, so remember to breathe and be a little more patient.
  • Share Clear Expectations—Make sure your team knows exactly what you need from them and what they are responsible for.
  • Continually Cast Vision—Our teams need us to continually point them back to the mission and vision … not just to their ministry to-do list!
  • Say Thanks—Everyone needs to hear it. Find many different ways to say it.
  • Communicate Consistently—Keep them in the loop with what you are thinking. Keep your team up to speed.
  • Work Together—Take time to work on projects with the different people on your team! Time working together is great time to train.
  • Be a Problem Solver—Work to remove obstacles that are in your team’s way!
  • Celebrate Wins—Slow down and take time to celebrate with your team.
  • Find Creative Rewards—You may not be able to pay all your team, but find small ways to reward them.

7 Ways To Honor Your Volunteers


from the Ministry Best Practices Archives:

Our volunteers give their time, energy, and talent to help the local church make an impact. As church leaders, we need to ensure that we honor them appropriately:

“Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves.” - Romans 12:10

To honor someone is to give respect, courtesy, and even authority. Here are seven different ways that staff and church leaders can honor their volunteers:
  1. Respect Your Volunteers’ Time - considerate of the time they need for family, friends, work, and rest
  2. Provide Creative Expression - allow your team to be creative, even within your process
  3. Target Excellence - honor your volunteers by allowing them to target excellence in what they do
  4. Solve Small Problems First - small things can add up, so honor your volunteers by solving small problems quickly
  5. Keep Things Simple - sometimes simple is better than the most expensive or most complicated solution
  6. Ask Them Questions - your volunteers are valuable, so value their input
  7. Give Them a Vision - remind them of the big picture to make their sacrifice of time meaningful
(ht: Volunteer Centered)

How To Move Members Into Ministry


by Chuck Lawless
(excerpted from Thom S. Rainer's blog)

Sam attends his church faithfully every Sunday, but he is not involved in doing ministry through his church. Others view Sam as a committed member simply because he is there every Sunday morning, and no one would dare question his faithfulness.

Yet, Sam is really doing nothing in his church. How do you move members like him into ministry? Here are some basic principles we learned in a study published in my book, Membership Matters.

1. Pray for Laborers
Jesus gave us clear guidelines for securing workers: pray for God to provide them (Luke 10:2). The fields, He said, are ready, but the workers are few.

My experience is that churches look for laborers, and they begin praying earnestly only after they’ve not been able to secure workers through their established processes. Is it possible we would have less difficulty enlisting workers if we started praying before recruiting?

I encourage churches to build praying for laborers into their DNA. The staff and church should pray not only for current workers, but also for potential workers. Prayer meetings should include a time of focused prayer for more workers, even when all the current positions are filled. God will provide the laborers if your church will follow His command to pray.

2. State Expectations Up Front
Here’s the primary reason church members don’t get involved: churches expect very little. One of the best ways to correct this problem is to state expectations in a membership class. Our study shows that churches with effective membership classes stress five expectations of members:
  • Identifying with the church (e.g., through public baptism)
  • Attending worship services and small groups
  • Serving in the ministry of the church
  • Giving financially toward the church’s work
  • Promoting unity in the church
Stating these expectations is no guarantee there will be no members like Sam in your church, but not clarifying expectations almost assures you will.

3. Have a Ministry Placement Process in Place
In the churches we studied, leaders had an intentional placement strategy. Those strategies included the SHAPE concept (Rick Warren), the DESIGN program (Wayne Cordeiro), BodyLife (John Powers), and Network (Willow Creek). These processes are built upon the assumption that God works through our life experiences, desires, spiritual gifts, personalities, and abilities to prepare us to serve in His church.

4. Recruit Face-to-Face
We asked laypersons in our study why they chose to get involved in their church’s ministry. Listen to the personal recruiting that their answers reflected:

“A minister spoke to me and challenged me to get active.”
“The Minister of Education sat me down and talked to me.”
“Two guys approached me and asked me [to serve].”

Leaders in the churches we studied did not recruit workers through bulletin board sign-ups, worship folder tear-offs, or pulpit announcements. Rather, they sought workers by challenging members face-to-face—the way Jesus recruited disciples. In most cases, a personal challenge and invitation made the difference.

5. Offer Entry-level Ministry Positions

6. Recognize and Affirm Workers

7. Don’t Give Up Easily


Read entire post at Thom S. Rainer's blog HERE

Chuck Lawless currently serves as Professor of Evangelism and Missions and Dean of Graduate Studies at Southeastern Seminary. You can connect with Dr. Lawless on both Twitter and Facebook.

Why Volunteers Don’t Attend Your Meetings


If you want people to attend your meetings. Here is what you need to do.

1. Start on time end on time – value their time.
2. 30% Fellowship/Relationship
3. 60% Inspiration/Vision/Values
4. 10% Information – Give people information other ways – email, facebook, blogs, texts etc...
5. Connect meetings to things they are already attending - work with their schedule, not against it.
6. Most leaders want to grow make your meeting about leadership growth not trivial facts.

If they know they are going to be poured into and challenged your volunteers and leaders will come back.

(ht: Sam Luce)

How Church Size Impacts Recruiting Volunteers


“The larger the church, the harder it is to recruit volunteers and thus a more well-organized volunteer recruitment process is required. Why is this so? First, the larger the church, the more likely it is that someone you don’t know well will try to recruit you. It is much easier to say no to someone you do not know than to someone you know well. Second, it is easier to feel less personally responsible for the ministries of a large church: “They have lots of people here—they don’t need me.” Therefore, the larger the church, the more well-organized and formal the recruitment of volunteers must be.”
-Tim Keller

Get the FREE PDF on Leadership and Church Size Dynamics

Top 10 Fun Ways To Encourage Volunteers

10. Send an Electronic Greeting Card.

9. Public Praise – make an intentional effort to praise your team in a public setting – Adult Worship – Newspaper – Newsletter – Get Creative

8. Dinner @ My Home

7. Send a Picture of them with their Small Group or at an Event enjoying being with kids.

6. Send a Text Message saying: “You’re a Blessing!” “You’re Amazing!” You’re the Best!” etc.

5. Coffee Break – invite them out for coffee and let them share what’s going on in their life.

4. Send a Personalized “Top Ten” list of great things you see in them.

3. A Night Out – recruit a teen to volunteer their time to baby sit.

2. Small Gifts – give a small gift on Sunday along with a fun personal note – candles, candy bars, Pez dispenser, $5 Gift Card, etc.

1. Say Thank You often!"

(ht: Keith)

How To Get More Volunteers


From the MinistryBestPractices Archives: 

It doesn't matter if you are a church of 50, 500 or 50000, - encouraging and mobilizing volunteers seems to be the perennial challenge in ministry. At my church we are constantly wrestling through this issue. I don't presume to have the final word on this, but here have been some of my thoughts and teachings about how to more effectively get more volunteers.

1. Develop leaders first. Volunteers will only work under competent leaders. Therefore it is your job to develop, to coach and to pour into leaders. Emerging leadership is one of your most important assets. Make sure you have good leadership first and then from that volunteers will grow.

2. Stop fishing from the same pond- You can only know so many people. Malcolm Gladwell says that most people connect within only small and intimate circles of relationships. Therefore the key to recruiting is to be able to get into other relational circles. In order to do that, you need to ask your key volunteers to intentionally tap into their circles. Ask your volunteers to recruit their own team themselves because chances are they know people you don't even know.

3. Equip your volunteers - people are not merely tools in order to accomplish your ministry goals and objectives. But unfortunately, too often, we treat them that way. You need to value your volunteers. Train, equip and develop your volunteers. Make sure they know that they are going to walk away with an added value for volunteering, in other words, a free prize inside. In other words, it isn't so much about "getting" from your volunteers, but rather "giving" to them and investing in them.

4. Simply ask. Most of the time, the people you need to serve in your ministry area are simply sitting in your church doing nothing. The reason for this is because all they hear are asks, pleas and challenges from the platform. And suffice it say, "Everyone's challenge" is too often "No one's challenge". Not everybody will respond to a corporate challenge (also read my post about Communication from the Platform). Sometimes all you need to do is to take the initiative and ask.

5. Communicate Vision, not Need. To often when churches communicate the need for volunteers it sounds like begging. "We need to fill spots!" "We need your help!" Most people don't respond to that kind of plea. People will respond to vision and outcomes. People want to know that their serving will have purpose and gives them a real opportunity to impact the Kingdom of God.

Three Big Considerations Before You Recruit Volunteers


Before you start recruiting volunteers for your church and ministry you have to ask yourself these three strategic questions:

What kind of person do you need? - Traits, Skills, Personality, Experience??

What is the level of difficulty for the position and opportunity being filled? - Develop an honest assessment of all that position will entail and require.

What are the most likely methods that you will use to fill that position? - Will you recruit from an existing group of volunteers? Go outside the organization? etc...

If you miss the mark in accurately assessing any of these questions, you will either go after and put the wrong people in certain volunteer positions.  Or you will advertise and offer volunteer opportunities and positions that portray unrealistic demands or expectations (either easier or more difficult).

Spending time on these questions will make sure you get the right person doing the right job and being able to fill that job when needed.

How To Motivate Those That Serve


Yes it's true that most of those who serve within the church or ministries wouldn't be doing so if they weren't already motivated to a certain degree.  But ministry can be hard and demanding, and everyone needs once in a while encouragement and incentive to keep motivated and going.

As leaders we need to recognize and reward those that serve alongside us and for us. Reward for the big things. And the medium things. And even the itty-bitty little things. We all like praise.  If we are honest, we appreciate recognition.  And those that serve with you and for you...whether they be paid staff or volunteers, will welcome those small (and even large) acts of kindness and appreciation.  Here are a couple ways you can motive others:
  • Say ‘thank you’ often, and mean it
  • Send birthday cards. Send a card at Christmas 
  • Provide a clear role description for every staff person and volunteer
  • Make sure new staff and volunteers are welcomed warmly
  • Highlight the impact that the volunteer contribution is having on the organization
  • Show an interest in staff and volunteers’ personal interests and their outside life
  • Tell your staff and volunteers they have done a good job
  • Give volunteers a real voice within the organization
  • Provide meaningful and enjoyable work for your staff
  • Always have work for your volunteers to do and never waste their time
  • Send ‘thank you’ notes and letters when appropriate
  • Smile when you see them!
  • Say something positive about their personal qualities
  • Involve volunteers in decision-making processes
  • Give a certificate to commemorate anniversaries of involvement
  • Do 360 evaluations with your staff and volunteers, giving them a chance to evaluate you as well
  • Do not impose new policies and procedures without a degree of staff input - especially when those changes effect them
  • Walk into places your volunteers serve and publicly thank them for their service, while they are serving
  • Celebrate the year’s work together
  • Also praise your staff, not just to them, but to others
  • Give the volunteer a title which reflects the work they do (not just ‘volunteer’)
  • Consider providing, or paying for, child care for volunteers who are parents
  • Count up how many hours volunteers contribute and publicize this
  • Always be appreciative of staff and volunteers’ contributions
  • Provide excellent training and coaching
  • Reimburse out-of-pocket expenses for your volunteers
  • Conduct an exit interview when a volunteer leaves
  • Provide constructive appraisal
  • Present an occasional inexpensive gift - i.e. gift card to their favorite store
  • Send a card or flowers if staff and volunteers are ill or bereaved
  • Empower staff and volunteers to make decisions without micro-management

Volunteering FAIL


Mandatory Volunteering - an oxymoron.

(ht: Fail Blog)

3 Great Reasons For People To Volunteer


Do you ever feel bad asking for church volunteers? In the back of your mind, are you thinking, I know how busy people are! How can I expect them to add one more thing to their busy schedules? I understand that I am supposed to “equip the saints for service”; but how can I do this when they are already maxed out?

Consider the following from a recent survey of people who volunteer…

68% say it makes them feel physically healthier,
73% say it lowers their stress level,
92% say it enriches their sense of purpose in life!

*from Success Magazine, 9/10

This gives us three great reasons people should volunteer; even with its frustrations and challenges, serving is fulfilling! This is what we need to remember. This is what will give us courage when it comes time for recruiting church volunteers… and it’s what gives us endurance when things get stressful.

(ht: Group's Church Volunteer Central)

Volunteering In America

Since churches, parachurches and non-profit ministries almost totally rely on volunteers for ministry to function, I thought this infographic on volunteerism provided some interesting fodder for thought.

via

When And How Should You Fire Someone?


Usually when we think of firing someone, we have the image above in our mind.  We think that it must be totally negative, adversarial and hostile.  Certainly the process of firing is difficult but sometimes it's necessary. If you are a church or ministry leader this issues isn't about "if" you will ever have to deal with it, but rather simply a question of "when".

Related to Henry Cloud's book, Necessary Endings, here are a few videos of Henry Cloud discussing with Steven Furtick when and how you should fire someone: 





How To Love Your Volunteers


Your volunteers are precious.  They give generously of their time and energy.  They are the backbone of the church and it's mission.  Therefore it's important to show your love and appreciation toward those who serve. Here are four practical, yet simple ways to do that:

Visit them: Go to them in their ministry area on Sunday morning or visit them during the time when they are serving, and genuinely thank them for serving.

Call them: Call your volunteers periodically, not to ask them for something, but rather to see how they are doing and to pray for them.  Build relationship with them.

Pray for them: Pray for them and with them. Don't just say you'll pray - do it right then.

Ask them: Ask them what do they need from you to succeed.  Find out from them how to better improve their ministry area - they are in the trenches - your volunteers often know best how things work.