Church Leadership Lab is a podcast that seeks to empower healthy churches. Through conversations, interviews, and stories, we explore what's happening in ministry today and how pastors and leaders can navigate what lies ahead.
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As a church leader, it can be easy to just focus on keeping up with the work of the ministry. There is always something to do, people to lead, and ways to continue advancing the gospel. But what if you paused, looked deeper into your ministry, and audited where you are? Jessica Bealer helps us do just that on this episode of Church Leadership Labs. With her 22 years of ministry experience, Jessica leads our conversation in sharing how to maintain a healthy volunteer culture, ways to communicate the need for volunteers, and how to go beyond just maintaining a safe and secure environment by being a proactive communicator.
When seeking out volunteers are you considering the needs of the people or just the needs of your ministry? That can be a challenging question for many. As a leader, you understand the need for volunteers to ensure that the operations of your ministry run smoothly but are you also considering how you are prioritizing a healthy volunteer culture? The lack of prioritizing healthy volunteer culture has become a common hindrance to many churches.
Healthy volunteer culture includes clarity, appreciation, accountability, empowerment, leadership development, challenge, and ownership. Those things will not happen unless you focus on them and you will not focus on them unless you prioritize them. Creating a healthy volunteer culture must be proactive and thoughtful. When we do this, we decrease burning out our faithful volunteers and add value to their development and leadership.
By working to create a healthy culture it will be easier to recruit, grow, and maintain your volunteers. They will be excited to serve and be poured into as they are pouring out for your ministry. Consider today how you can create a better environment and healthy culture for your volunteers.
When in a pinch for volunteers, it can seem that the most effective way to communicate your need is to communicate it as loudly and as broadly as possible. For a lot of church ministries, that looks like making stage announcements or posting on social media. As efficient as those channels can be, they can also lack the passion, purpose, and excitement you want to express when recruiting your volunteers.
Unfortunately, if you are only communicating when you are in desperate need, no one is going to want to be a part of your team. Try to communicate when you are seeing big wins in your ministry as well. Share with your congregation the stories of life changes that have happened, how volunteers are being celebrated and finding community, and ways that your ministry is making a difference for the church as a whole. By being strategic and thoughtful in how you are communicating your need for volunteers you will be able to help create a lens for others to understand your mission and see value in serving alongside your ministry.
One of the most positive changes that have happened post covid is that people are reverting to highly relational ministry. With mental health, isolation, and rejection on the increase, churches have been a place where many can find community, a place to belong, and feel known and accepted by others.
With this shift, we’ve also seen an opportunity arise for smaller churches to make a greater impact on their communities. No longer are people seeking a church that is trendy and cool, but they are seeking a place to belong and where others know them by name.
We’ve also seen that there is a unique value that a church of 200 can offer that a church of 2,000 can not. No longer do churches need to try to be something they are not, but they can find a security to be exactly who God has called them to be and serve their community right where they are. By focusing on relationships, community, and connecting with others, we have a growing opportunity for the local church to be the local church and serve those within their communities.
When trying to be proactive in securing a safe environment for the youngest in your church here are a few things to consider.
Having a safe and secure environment means something different than it did 30 years ago. By including your safety guidelines on your website, you will allow others to know the value and importance your church is placing on creating a safe and secure space. Here are a few things to include:
We understand the world we live in and what we need to be protected against. Help bring those visiting your church to ease by communicating clearly and providing specific details of how you are enhancing safety and security within your ministry.
When it comes to leading a ministry it can be overwhelming for those first-time leaders. If you are a new leader, here are a few pieces of wisdom.
One of the most important components of a healthy church is to have layered leadership within your church. This is crucial because it allows the responsibility of leading your church to be divided out and equally carried.
Even for a smaller church, there is no way for one or two staff members to be able to care for all the volunteers, families, and first-time guests within your church. By having lay leaders in positions of authority inside your church, you can provide touchpoints for your volunteers, families, and more.
This is a multiplication factor as well. When you can do this, it will continue to grow your leaders, volunteers, and attendees. Your leaders will feel ownership and purpose, your volunteers will feel cared for and equipped, and your attendees will feel seen and welcomed. As a church leader, having multiple layers of leadership in every area of your church will help you maintain a healthy church and a healthy culture.