Within the church, one of our most valuable assets is our volunteers. Volunteers have a value far greater than any piece of equipment, software or service you can purchase. They bring not only skills that the Lord has given them, but a passion for the roll they fill. They give freely of their time, money and talents. Many serve behind the scenes where all the “magic” happens. They are rarely seen or heard, but the church’s effective communication of the Gospel in our gatherings is heavily reliant on these behind-the-scenes people whom just want to serve the Lord with their gifts and talents. These volunteers, while not in the limelight, are worthy of any kind of gratitude that the church can show them. Here are three ways we can edify our volunteer staff, especially in our technical areas.
Get To Know Your Volunteers
Taking time to get to know your volunteers is the most important thing you can do. This shows the volunteer that they are important enough for the leadership to care about their lives and walk with the Lord. They aren’t just a resource that leadership can pull from when they need something, but they are real people that are just as important to the ministry as the person on the stage. Next time you go over the worship set with the media and sound team, take the time to find out how their families are doing or what the Lord’s been doing in their lives. Plan your time well so you don’t have to rush off to do something else. Little questions that probe into their relationship with the Lord and their family are easy conversations that show they are valued members of the ministry team.
Many volunteers need the occasional word from leadership to tell them they are on the right track or are doing a good job. The volunteer will be critical of every mistake they make. Take the time to let your volunteer know that they are valued and any mistake they may make will not change that. Share the grace that the Lord has shown you with your volunteers. If you want to see people grow in their relationship with God while serving as a volunteer, exhibit grace and mercy in those times of mistakes, then remember to tell them they did a good job on a regular basis, especially when you see they’ve had a rough day and have made multiple mistakes. It’s good to tell the volunteers at the end of every service or event that they did a great job and thank them for their service.
There are several ways you can give public recognition to your volunteers. You can make a comment from the stage like, “Man our Media Team is always on the ball!” or “We have a top-notch sound man in the back.” Show the congregation and the volunteers that you have confidence in the people you have behind the scenes. There are times when you might want to have a special recognition for volunteers and have them stand for recognition. Or you may want to give gifts publicly. There are several ways to publicly celebrate their service to the Lord in the local church. This will build up the volunteer, but also bring to light an area where people can serve. This can also be a great recruiting tool. It spotlights a certain ministry and brings it to the attention of the congregation. It might spark the idea in someone’s mind that they might like serving in that capacity.
Volunteers are the lifeblood of the church. We couldn’t do ministry without them. Try to take time this week to pray for your volunteers and think about how you can encourage and celebrate them.