If you’re not sure you can follow through, don’t schedule it to begin with. But if you do schedule it, keep it and prepare for it! One of the fastest ways to lose good volunteer leaders is to call, then cancel meetings and/or come to them unprepared.
Stop winging it, pastors! Our volunteer leaders deserve better from us.
7. Honor Them and Their Time
People are under no obligation to volunteer at your church. Or mine. None. Nada. Zip.
Sure, as believers we are called to contribute to the health and well-being of the church, but that leaves people with a lot of choices about which church they’ll choose to make those commitments to.
Leaders will attend and volunteer at churches where they are honored as people and where their hard work and leadership skills are recognized and valued. Not because they’re seeking glory (there’s not a lot of glory overseeing the church nursery) but because they want to make a real difference. Plus, honoring one another is just the right thing to do.
8. Train, Don’t Just Tell
Buying new Sunday School curriculum is not the same as training your new Sunday School leader.
Telling the youth leader to “teach the kids more Bible verses” is not the same as training them how do it.
Leadership is an art. And a skill. It’s learned by spending quality time with other leaders.
People need to be trained. Training takes time, relationships and assessment.
If you want great leaders, invest in great followers by giving them your time and experience. Take them with you as you do ministry. Listen as much as you talk. That’s what training looks like.
9. Train Leaders to Train Leaders
When I came to my current church 27 years ago, I found an untrained, but passionate young man named Gary Garcia leading the church’s youth group.
We spent a lot of time together in those first years. I took him with me as we did ministry, we talked about the church, and we figured out how to do things better. I was his mentor.
Today, he is more my peer than my protégé. In fact, two years ago he became my lead pastor, and I became the church’s teaching pastor. Over the decades we’ve worked together, he has mentored hundreds of others, scores of whom are in ministry today.
In case you’re wondering how we do this, I don’t use a curriculum for training leaders. I’ve tried several, but they don’t work for my teaching style. I wrote about how we train leaders in Five Simple Steps to Mentor New Believers (Without Overworking the Pastor).