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Leading Volunteers

February 19, 2008

Planting a church is hard. There is no way around it. Starting from scratch is a long tough process. Replanting a church I believe is harder. Now as I say that please understand I have never planted a church from scratch, and what I know is through other people. I am in the middle of a replant and am learning just how difficult it is on a daily basis. Replants are tough because you are battling history, reputation in the community, and the standing mentality of those still in the church.

ECC is blessed in more ways than we know. Many of these things I just mentioned are here, but I have one huge positive thing. My volunteer staff is amazing. They have been willing to be retrained, restructured, and stretched in ways they never imagined. Our replant has included a complete “flip.” What once was is no more, and yet they have stuck through it.

Volunteers are tough to lead most of the time because of one simple reason: THEY ARE NOT BEING PAID! They are the greatest servant because it is a larger sacrifice for them, because they have full time jobs and are leading ministries here that are also full time. When leading volunteers here are some things to remember:

·        Tell them how much they are appreciated. Sometimes a word of encouragement can be more beneficial than a check. They are not serving for money, thus pay them another way.

·        Help them balance their lives. As they follow you they will get excited and want to do A LOT. Many times pastors will give them so much and after time their commitment will dwindle, their family lives will suffer, and they will end up blaming the church. Keep them balanced. We love those people who do a lot, but if you truly love them, help them enhance all facets of their lives not just what they are doing at the church.

·        Set them up for success. Make sure they have what they need. A lack of supplies, teaching times, or time to be heard can be frustrating for them. Also do not place them somewhere they are not gifted for.


There is a lot more to say about leading volunteers, but remember one thing. They are following you because they want to, not because they are being paid to. Love them, correct them when needed, develop them, and most of all, thank God daily for them.

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