LeadingSmart

Practical Stuff for Church Leaders

Why People Serve

Why would someone volunteer to work with kids, take out the trash, park cars, change diapers, duplicate tapes, mow the lawn, feed the poor or counsel teenagers?

Three reasons people choose to serve...

  1. They see a real need. Someone has shared the vision of helping kids or serving others--and they caught the vision.
  2. They have confidence they can do it. It's in an area where they have a strength, a passion, or both. They aren't being asked to do something that will embarrass them or expose a weakness. It fits who they are.
  3. There's not someone already doing it. That means there are always roles available for new people to fill.

So, if you are a pastor or leader and you need volunteers, then you must do three things:

  1. Make the vision clear. Tell stories of the lives being changed. They may just be sticking labels on a CD, but they need to hear stories of someone's life who was changed because of the ministry that is happening.
  2. Help people determine their strengths and gifts. If they can find a place to serve where they are gifted, impassioned and excited--it will be a long time before they experience burn-out, and they will become your best marketer for new volunteers.
  3. Always have open roles for people to fill. Don't ever say, "I'm sorry...we don't need anymore volunteers in this area." Train your volunteers at every level to be thinking about how to make room for more volunteers.

I adapted this from a talk I heard at the Leadership Summit this summer by Gary Haugen, president of International Justice Mission.