As churches begin to grow, the pastor looks forward to the time that he or she may begin to hire staff to help in the ministry. Worship leaders, youth leaders, an office assistant or Children’s coordinator are often likely first hires. While this has often worked well in many of our churches, I think we have missed a great opportunity.
Make your first hire, a volunteer coordinator.
Churches have an amazing source of talent in the pews. Most of us know that getting the people that are simply attending church to being the church is one huge and clear illustration of discipleship in action. People grow in their faith walk as they exercise their gifts by serving.
Active involvement in church ministry in various volunteer capacities is not only healthy for church members, it also fulfills one of the primary missions of the church, to make disciples. What could be better than to also learn to be a servant, like Jesus?
While church leaders intuitively realize they need volunteers, they often begin to dream of the time that they will be able to get 'real' staff. Church leaders also dream about become one of those growing, healthy churches that have conferences and have pastors that write books about how to do “it.”
Growing, healthy churches that have conferences also have figured out how to create and maintain a healthy culture of volunteerism. They recognize the importance of having a staff person that is 100% focused on volunteers.
Churches have found amazing volunteer teachers, leaders, worship leaders, children's ministry coordinators, business administrators, computer experts and gardeners. Getting new people engaged in some volunteer activity, coordinating schedules so that volunteers know where and when they are to serve, ensuring adequate depth in volunteer roles so that volunteers get vacations and regular opportunities for respite, and creating a culture where volunteers are regularly recognized, trained, and thanked are great bullet points on a volunteer coordinators job description.
Hire the Volunteer Coordinator and empower the people to be the church, utilize their God-given talents and grow in their faith.