As they grow, many churches eagerly anticipate the moment when they’re finally big enough that they can afford to hire more staff and offer more ministry options for people. For example I’ve heard churches say they can’t wait to hire a Men’s Ministry Pastor. Nothing against Men’s Ministry per se, but that’s an expensive model. If you run it out to its logical end you’re going to have a lot of people on your payroll. Paying people to “do” ministry instead of “lead” ministry is an expensive mistake that many churches fall into. Here are 3 principles that will help you focus the Staffing & Volunteer philosophy at your church.
The Professionalism of Ministry has allowed the Church to Abdicate Responsibility
Just about every Pastor I’ve ever met generally agrees that their role is to, “equip the saints to do the work of the ministry.” After all it’s pretty tough to disagree with the Scriptures. But unless you’re hiring through this filter of “preparing God’s people for works of service,” (Ephesians 4:11-13) every time you make a hire you’re robbing the church of the opportunity to be the church, as well as the church staff member of their God ordained role. As a Church Staff Member no job should be beneath you, but at the same time a Church Staff Member shouldn’t do every job either. Just see the conversation Jethro had with his son-in-law Moses (Exodus 18:13-26).
Remember that Volunteering is Discipleship
I’ve discovered that many churches still view volunteering as roles that need to be filled instead of people that need to be developed. I think we forget how much spiritual growth takes place in someone’s life as a result of volunteering. Instead of viewing volunteering as filling roles to run a church, volunteering should be viewed as a part of the spiritual pathway of our churches. It’s a subtle yet significant shift that needs to be made in our thinking for the sake of the spiritual formation of the people that have been entrusted to us.
Pay People to be Volunteer Specialists
If you’re going to use volunteers heavily in your church this doesn’t mean you’re not going to pay some staff. But when you do, make sure you pay for administration, mobilization, and highly skilled specialized roles. I say administration because volunteers would rather give their time to ministry that touches people’s lives than pushing paper. Those who are great at mobilization will utilize volunteers well because they know how to drive the project management of a team and think people first and roles second. Finally there are just going to be some highly skilled roles you’re going to need to pay for like the primary communicator/teacher, I.T., and so on.
Posted in Volunteers