Volunteers!!! A Four Letter Word?

by Cathy Hopkins

As I read post after post from church leaders, and especially preschool and children’s ministry leaders from across the United States, I notice a common thread in a large percentage of their laments- VOLUNTEERS!!!

Leaders are asking:

  • How do we find volunteers?
  • How do we keep volunteers?
  • When and how do we train volunteers?
  • What do we do when the volunteer drops out at the last minute?
  • And even this one- Volunteers- *^&**# (that 4 letter word)

There are an equal amount of posts and articles to answer all those questions.  Here’s my takeaway…..

Webster states that a volunteer is a person who voluntarily undertakes or expresses a willingness to undertake a service.  In church, we think of volunteers as people who work alongside others towards a common goal.  Effective ministry needs the service of volunteers!

Volunteers need to know they are needed and why they are needed.  They need purpose and training and supervision!  They need to know and feel they are supported and they need to be given adequate tools to do their jobs.

Volunteers need to know you care about them and that you trust their service. They need private and public appreciation.

Even with all of these needs fulfilled, they serve best when they have a good relationship with the church leader to whom they committed their volunteer service.  The volunteer feels a higher level of commitment, thus less absenteeism, drop outs, no shows and less frustration.

Maintaining a prayerful attitude is vital in enlisting and maintaining a healthy cadre of volunteers. God will provide a solution to volunteer challenges and headaches, without you being baffled and upset. Trust Him!!

My prayer is that you will always stay in the recruiting mode; be patient, very patient; and rely on God to move in the lives of people to have the desire to serve others and then show them a way to live out that call from God.

These thoughts above are from Cathy Hopkins, one of our partners in the ministry based out of Fayetteville, North Carolina. Her primary focus is working alongside churches in children and family matters. For more information about how she can help you, contact her at 919.612.1085 or [email protected].

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