In Lifeway Research’s latest study, 75% of the pastors surveyed indicated that one of their ministry pain points is apathy/lack of commitment. And an even greater number (77%) indicated that developing leaders and volunteers is their greatest ministry need.
What can be done to help mitigate those gaps?
Danny Franks, pastor of guest services at The Summit Church in Durham, North Carolina, joined Ben and Lynley Mandrell about the interpersonal aspects of a volunteer ministry. Danny spoke candidly about developing healthy relationships with volunteers, how to handle conflict, and ways to guard against resentment when apathy is present.
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Quotes from this episode:
“One thing that makes this season so particularly difficult … is that we haven’t just lost volunteers; we’ve lost friends. We’ve lost people we’ve invested life in. We’ve lost people we thought we would do ministry with until the day we die.”
“People want to form connections in the church. And one of the reasons they serve is because they want a relationship with their leader.”
“If someone is serving in your ministry and they’ve been there three or four times and you don’t know more about them than the first week they showed up, that’s a problem. That relationship is part of the trust and ministry atmosphere you’re creating.”
“We need to create teams that are constantly overstaffed, know we’re always going to have a volunteer that doesn’t show up. That helps to calm us a bit more when things don’t go according to our plans.”
“When you’re constantly running from room to room and you’re overly committed to too many things, you stop having those little conversations that keep the environment healthy.”
“There are a lot of times when we create a lack of volunteers because we have such a tight fist on the way we think things ought to be done.”
“When we’re investing in other people in such a way that they are able to grow in the gifting God has put in their life, that’s a win for us as leaders—even if we’re not the ones directly doing those things.”
“Bored Christians tend to be critical Christians. And so we want to be careful that we are helping people fulfill the call that God has placed on their lives.”
“An ‘all-call’ from the pulpit is one of the lease effective ways to recruit volunteers. … Stage announcements create awareness, but not action.”
“We are not the sum total of the success of our volunteer teams. The grace of God in our lives does not rise and fall on how many of our volunteers came back after the pandemic.”
“One of the things to celebrate is when a ministry leader is gone on a Sunday and things go off without a hitch. That means you’ve equipped volunteers.”
“God has not been caught off guard by any of this (COVID), and He is still raising up people for the sake of the kingdom and for the sake of the ministry. And we get to be a part of that.”
Visit Danny’s website.
Check out Danny’s book, People Are the Mission.
Follow Danny on Twitter.
Find leader and volunteer development tools on Ministry Grid.
Executive Producer: Joy Allmond
Produced and Edited by: Angie Elkins Media
Original Music by: Robert Elkins
Sound Engineering by: Dale Sandberg
Art Work by: Cameron Spooner