Category Archives: Volunteers

Compassion, Outreach or a Fad?

What tugs at your heart? What are the things that you see in your community, your city and even the world that causes you to be moved with compassion?

For some it’s the sight of a starving baby, others it’s the reality of human trafficking, yet some get moved when they see their neighbor struggling with their yard work or a work colleague struggle through an on going sickness.

We are all wired differently, yet our make up is the sense. While compassion may not be everyone’s strongest point, there is no doubt that there are certain things in life that pull at our heart.

However, some do a good job of ignoring these emotions, others just sit there and feel sorry for those situations, while a limited few decide they must do something about it. It is this later group who are the ones who have the compassion to be world changers. 

I think compassion ministries have become a fad in a lot of churches. While this is a good thing as a lot of good is being done, by worry is that as soon as reaching out to our communities doesn’t result in church growth it will become like every other fad, and just die!

Tomorrow is Saturday May 14th. Just another Saturday to most, yet for a few it is a day to reach out and serve our community. The Help Stamp Out Hunger food drive is taking place, where across the country if you leave a bag of groceries by your mail box, the mail man will deliver it to your local food pantry. In our county ServeFest is taking place, this is where local churches get together to help serve our community for one day in different community projects. For me I will be volunteering at the school my wife works, where they will be hosting a community outreach to their local neighborhood.

While this is all good, I wonder what would happen if the collective church would really start to embrace the things that pull at peoples hearts on a daily basis. Not adding more ministries to a never ending schedule, not just schedule one day a month or a year, but started to empower and mobilize the people who make up the church to start to reach out on their own accord when they see a need. To be the hands and feet of Jesus day to day. To learn to do good and stamp out injustice when we see it. The world would change overnight, that is what would happen!

Of course in all reality the church is made up of imperfect people, reluctant to step out of what they have always know and people who can be very self absorbed, of which I know I am one; so this today is only a far fetched dream. Yet I have discovered in my life that dreams do come true and my dream is to see a church that hurts for others just as much as it hurts for itself.

I suppose it could all start with just leaving a bag of groceries for the mail man to pick up!

Isaiah 1:17

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Transitions

Transitions are always hard. People are transitioning all the time. Whether people are moving home, getting married, changing jobs, starting new endeavors or even changing churches, transitions happen.

In my experience I have found that May & June are the time people tend to transition most. As a ministry leader and then as an associate Pastor I learned and recognized that this time of year was the time when volunteers quit, people wanted to try new things or people left the churches we were at. However, it was also a time when new people would come on board, new volunteers would be found and your ministry was the new thing people wanted to try.

For any leader this is a bitter sweet time. Transition is hard. Change can be difficult and sometimes you feel people are making the wrong decision in their transition. Yet transition is something every ministry has to embrace. Big churches, small churches, urban churches or rural churches all experience it.

However, I encourage you to embrace this time. Transition shows health and life. Your body transitions and changes because it is alive. The trees and plants transition during this time because they are alive and so the church, which is the body of Christ, will transition and change because it is alive.

This doesn’t mean everything should change and everyone should move on to other things, but it does mean when you see a change in the wind or a new season arriving embrace it and work with it because more than likely God is moving the pieces around to perfectly align you for a new fruitful season of blessing.


What To Look For When Choosing a Volunteer Leader!

Working with volunteers is no easy task. Volunteers are there on their on own accord. You can’t force someone to volunteer, you can’t threaten them if they don’t volunteer and you can’t expect a volunteer to do the same amount of work as an employee.

However, to any non-profit organization and especially to a church, volunteers are the key to health, growth and ultimately achieving your goals or vision.

The secret I believe to good volunteers all centers on those that lead them. Sometimes this is paid staff, but most often it is one volunteer leading another volunteer.

I think one of the toughest tasks when it comes to volunteers is finding leaders to lead them. I constantly ask myself, could this volunteer be a potential leader? Does this person have what it takes to motivate, schedule, train, and recruit other volunteers.

There are so many factors involved in choosing a volunteer leader, but there are two I value above anything else. They are commitment and consistency. Before I look at ability, past records and would they be a fit I want to make sure they are committed people and they are consistent in their commitment.

It is no good having the best people if they are not committed people, they will flake out on you. It is also no good having people as leaders if they are committed but do not have to time to be consistent. When choosing leaders you need to know that they will be there when they are suppose to be and they won’t desert you when it gets tough.

Yes you may have to pass on people who are better qualified or have more ability, but in the long run you will have a team of leaders in whom you can trust and will help you complete the vision in front of you.