Intentional mentoring is a great way to expand your church’s capacity for effective ministry and fulfill our mandate to make disciples and equip God’s people.
“My pastor is so hard to please!”
I’ve had a lot of conversations with church staff members and volunteers. I’ve also had many conversations with small church pastors about how hard it is to get good staff and volunteers.
One coin. Two sides.
Today I want to talk to my fellow pastors. Here are a few simple steps that help our church to deal with petty issues before they become big.
“I want to be a training pastor. But how do I find volunteers? What’s the best way to recruit them? Make a general announcement, or ask people one-on-one?”
The best way I’ve found to do this is a simple five-step process:
I don’t like meetings.
Planning meetings, board meetings, staff meetings, committee meetings…
If I could jettison one aspect of pastoring, that’s what I would get rid of.
So why do I have them? Because, when done well, ministry team meetings are an essential tool for communication, team-building, problem-solving, vision-casting and more.
So I make sure the staff and volunteer meetings are as few and as effective as possible by requiring that they meet these 12 criteria:
It used to be fairly easy to get church members to commit to consistent giving and/or volunteering. Ask for a missions or building pledge, and people would do it. Mention the need for Sunday School volunteers and folks would commit every week for decades.
Not any more.
Are people not as committed as they used to be? Have we all become that unreliable? I say no.
People are as committed as they’ve always been. They just commit in different ways now.
Volunteer leaders are the backbone of the Small Church.
In bigger churches, most or all of the first- and second-tier leaders are hired (Namely, the pastoral staff and department heads). That’s a great thing. When you hire someone, it’s much easier to require certain tasks and enforce your expectations. After all, they have a financial stake in how well they perform as a church leader.
But Small Churches are led by volunteers. Volunteers who can quit at any time. And when they do quit, it doesn’t hurt them financially, it actually frees up more of their spare time. So we need to give them good reasons to stick around.
It’s one of many aspects that make pastoring the Small Church a unique challenge.
I’ve been in Small Church ministry for almost three decades – over 22 at my current church. In that time, I’ve learned a handful of great principles that help our church attract and keep the best group of volunteer leaders I’ve ever worked with.
Here are 10 of them:
This isn’t a one-sided issue. It’s a two-sided issue with a two-sided solution. I know, because I’ve also had conversations with Small Church pastors about how hard it is to get good staff and volunteers.
Usually, it’s hard to get anyone to help at all. But sometimes I get complaints from pastors that go like this.
“No matter what I do, I can’t get these young leaders to turn off lights or take stinky garbage out to the dumpster! And when I tell them to do it, they get such an attitude about it! Like they’re too good for that. Don’t they understand that this is what a lot of ministry is about? Especially in a Small Church?” Sound familiar?
“Delegate pastor, delegate.” I’ve heard that wise advice hundreds of times – literally. Ron Cook was the chair of the pulpit committee that brought me to the church I’ve pastored for over 20 years now. In the first few years here, whenever he’d catch me doing something myself instead of training someone else to do …
Recruiting and keeping givers and volunteers is harder than it used to be. If I was ever tempted to tell Small Church pastors to quit whining about something, this would be it. It used to be fairly easy to get church members to commit to consistent giving and/or volunteering. Ask for a missions pledge, and …