Developing volunteers in ministry is different that hiring and developing church staff. The main difference between them being volunteers receive no monetary compensation. This creates a different level of invitation and connection. The church needs people who feel called to serve in specific areas of ministry.  But the church leadership also needs to help make those positions available for others to experience by recruiting.

We pray for workers in the harvest field, and then we begin to do what Jesus did – invite people. Recruiting is probably the most difficult thing for many pastors and staff to do, but it’s a crucial step. The leaders and workers you want are those who are gifted and able, but not likely to throw up their hand and volunteer when the need is presented. We want to let people know of the positions available for service, but the best candidates will only respond when asked personally to serve.  Recruitment isn’t a bad thing, but it takes special leaders within the church to believe in it and be intentional about it.

Here are some steps toward raising up and developing volunteer workers in your ministry. Indeed, this will become your work – leading in ministry through others.  If it seems like it’s a big investment of time to develop and follow up with volunteers, it is.  But, time invested in working through others will benefit the kingdom, the church, the workers, and your life and ministry.

This list is based on a chapter from an old book called Church Administration Effective Leadership For Ministry.

Here are the steps for raising up and developing volunteers in your ministry:

1. Pray for the Lord to send workers.

2. Develop qualifications for leaders.

3. Identify why you need leaders.

4. Discover potential leaders.

5. Provide pre-service training for potential leaders.

6. Recruit for specific positions.

7. Give specialized training for specific roles.

8. Continue development through on the job the training and continuing education.

9. Supervise leaders.

10. Motivate them.

11. Evaluate their work.

12. Recognize them appropriately.

Can you identify the areas in your ministry where you need to incorporate the steps of this process?  Each paid church staff member ought to be in engaged in this process for areas in their ministry.  The beauty of the church is where all the members are using their gifts to serve in a specific role and capacity.  For those who are leaders – we are called to lead strong and well. This is your call – to help others find their place in the kingdom work of the church.

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