There are certain automatic entry points in the calendar year of ministry and fall is one of the big ones.
People are naturally thinking about new routines. The summer has been refreshing, but the fall is a new start. As a leader, you have the opportunity to infuse new energy in your ministry, while refocusing, and encouraging your team.
If you are serving in church leadership, you are most likely relying on and connected to volunteer teams. The church was and is built on volunteers.
Here are five ideas for making sure you make an impact on your team as you begin this new season.
Appreciate Your Team
Sincere appreciation can go a long way in helping your volunteer team feel valued. In fact, one big thing your volunteer teams need is to be noticed – they need to know that someone knows they are doing hard and great work. The fall is a good time to send thank-you notes or gifts. It’s a good time to write about your team in the church publications. Find ways to appreciate your team. I often try to meet with key volunteers to find out how they’ve been doing and check in to see how they are feeling about another year of ministry!
Many leaders are just waiting to be asked. There are people around you who would love to serve, but just haven’t had the opportunity. There may also be people who are currently serving with you who may be ready to invest more, tackle a bigger project or rise to a great challenge. Help your people grow in leadership and ownership by inviting them to try out a bigger opportunity.
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Create A Clear Path
Along with creating opportunities, leaders need to make the path for getting involved clear and available. How does a new person begin to volunteer in your ministry? What are the steps for involving them? Most people I know in ministry need more volunteers, but too often, we think it’s clearly marking how to get them involved – most often, it’s inside, church language info. Try charting out the process from finding out about it, to signing up for it and getting actually assimilated into the role. If you can’t write it out simply and it’s not printed, it’s probably unknown to most all your members, especially new ones.
Share Your Vision
One of the best ways to infuse energy into your team is to share your vision. Sharing the vision can be done on an ongoing basis. It must be caught by your team and lived out as a group. This motivates a heart of service and an attitude of joy in our work together. If you don’t have a vision, even for the smallest of volunteer teams, you need to seek the Lord and allow a vision to grow in your heart. The leader of the team is responsible for this.
Do The Basics Well
As with any ministry, keep tabs on the basic leadership components with your volunteers. Don’t talk bad about them to others. Make sure they have access to you – respond to notes, return calls and texts, etc. Give them the info they need before major changes take place. Find time to equip them in short spurts – articles, links, etc. Be sure to delegate well and encourage your team, but also hold them accountable.
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