By the way, if you get a volunteer from the general announcement, go through the following steps with them, too.
Step 4: Meet To Share Your Vision and Hear Theirs
Tell them why you think they might be the right person to meet this need. Let them know what you’re asking of them and what you’re willing to give them in help and training.
Ask them what their thoughts are. After all, if they’re right for it they may have some ideas that need to be taken into consideration.
Step 5: Train Them
This is the essential element that turns volunteering into discipleship.
Remember, the Apostle Paul told pastors (along with apostles, prophets, evangelists and teachers) to “equip the saints…” not just find warm bodies to fill empty slots.
For specific ideas about doing this, check out Mentoring Is Better than Curriculum: Seven Steps to Better Discipleship.
The Benefits of the General and Specific Asks
Many churches fail at recruiting and keeping volunteers because we don’t train people, we just just hand them curriculum and walk away. This gives us a reputation for leaving people hanging, which makes it harder to recruit someone the next time.
But when we go through this simple (but not easy) five-step process, some important things happen.
By prayerfully and thoughtfully asking people, we increase the likelihood of matching them with the right position for them and the church.
By sharing ideas in an up-front meeting, we’re less likely to lose people after they start.
By training them, we dramatically increase the likelihood of success for everyone. And we gain a reputation as a place where passionate, willing volunteers will get the tools they need to grow.
It’s been said that the best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago. The second best time is today. The same goes for discipleship.
Start today. Or years from now you’ll be wishing you had.
No, this isn’t easy. Or fast. And the smaller the church, the more likely the initial volunteers will have to be trained by the pastor.
But in the long run, you’ll develop a self-perpetuating mentoring system as those who get discipled start discipling others.
Intentional mentoring is a great way to expand your church’s capacity for effective ministry and fulfill our mandate to make disciples and equip the saints.
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