Podcast Episode 008, 28 min
Recovering & Thriving In the Post-Pandemic Church: Pt. 2, EP 008
The second of a two-part series in which Karl Vaters shares lessons from hundreds of small church pastors about responding, recovering and thriving through a challenging season.

I said, “what is it?”

And they said, “I've got people volunteering in my church now who have never volunteered before.”

I thought, well, that's not exactly a problem.

“Well, here's why it's a problem. It's a problem because I do everything in the church,” the pastor says. “I don't know where to put these people who are volunteering because nobody's ever volunteered before. We just have a system in our church where I, my spouse, my kids, maybe one other person, we do everything in the church.”

And so now they've got people stepping up and volunteering who've never volunteered before because now the need is so obvious. They're standing up and saying, “can we help?” And the pastor’s saying “no, you can't help, because I do everything and I don't have time to teach you now.”

Now we can look back at it and go, they should have volunteered before. Yeah. They should have volunteered before. But in a lot of situations, a lot of pastors, we just simply got used to the idea of doing everything and we didn't make the push for team-based leadership. I know what it's like to be in a church where nobody wants to do anything. I've come to three different churches filled with seniors who weren't unwilling, but they were older and they were tired and they'd served their time and they deserved to rest.

And it took a long time to build up teams of people who had the energy, the passion, and the opportunity to actually serve on teams. But just like with the budget, I never gave up on putting teams together. So by the time this pandemic hit, we had a great team in place. And so when people called in and said, “I want to volunteer and help out,” who had never volunteered before, we had a place to put them. We had a team for them.

But if you are pastoring a church right now and you are doing everything, first of all, let me say, I get it. I have been there for many, many years. But you need to, right now, make it a priority to begin to develop teams. Let me tell you, it will not be easy. You're going to have to start one person at a time and you are going to have several failures.

People who you think are going to step up aren't going to step up and you're going to have to move on to somebody else. But don't give up. And don't look for people who have a lot of experience and a title. Look for people who have passion. Look for people who have willingness. Look for the raw recruit who doesn't know any better than to just simply give their all to the process.

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August 5, 2021

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