Humble Volunteers: The Secret Sauce in Your Ministry

One of our staff members at Elevation used to work at Chic-fil-A. He claims to know the secret about how they make the chicken taste so delicious. He shared it with me. Interesting theory. Sorry, I’m sworn to secrecy.

People have asked me quite a few times over the several years something like this:

What is the secret sauce that has helped Elevation to grow rapidly and make a big impact?

Obviously, the secret sauce is Jesus.

But that’s not what they’re asking. They’re looking to learn how Jesus through the Holy Spirit is working through us in a specific, tangible way.

Additionally, it always feels funny to try to explain what you’re doing right when you know there are so many areas where you want to do so much better.

With that said, I do think there’s a secret sauce that you would discover if you spent some time behind the scenes at Elevation Church. It’s something that I’ve seen God bless over and over again- not just in our church, but in churches, businesses, and families all over the world. And it has nothing to do with my preaching or the Sunday morning worship experience.

The secret sauce? It’s the humility of the volunteers on our team.

By humility, I don’t mean sheepishness. When I say I’m inspired by the humility of our team, here’s what I mean:

They submit their pride and preferences to God’s plans and purposes, and deflect the glory to Jesus.

  • Our creative team has had to completely scratch a finished product that took them hundreds of hours to create because it wasn’t the best thing for the worship experience.
  • Our ushers have had to respond with kindness to angry parents who dropped F-bombs when they were asked to leave the auditorium with a crying baby so that people could hear the Gospel undistracted.
  • Our worship leaders have practiced and performed many songs they didn’t personally like with a great attitude and wholehearted effort because it best supported the message.
  • Our volunteer leaders have accepted hard correction about the way to lead their teams, made the adjustments, and come back the next week, even though they’re not paid to.
  • In the administrative department- I walked through and saw 7 people in Volunteer Headquarters pounding away on keyboards, entering first time guest data just moments before I wrote this. Very few people have any clue about the hard, tedious work they do. But that’s not why they do it.

And on and on.

Elevation team- thanks for serving up the good stuff with humility every week.

You’re the secret sauce that God uses to make this thing so special.

Read more from Steven here.

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Steven Furtick

Steven Furtick

Pastor Steven Furtick is the lead pastor of Elevation Church. He and his wife, Holly, founded Elevation in 2006 with seven other families. Pastor Steven holds a Master of Divinity degree from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He is also the New York Times Best Selling author of Crash the Chatterbox, Greater, and Sun Stand Still. Pastor Steven and Holly live in the Charlotte area with their two sons, Elijah and Graham, and daughter, Abbey.

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— Abel Singbeh
comment_post_ID); ?> Thank you Ed for sharing your insights into the Church Growth Movement. I have my reservations with Church Growth models because it has done more damage than good in the Body of Christ. Over the years, western churches are more focused on results, formulas and processes with little or no emphasis on membership and church discipline. Pastors and vocational leaders are burnt out because they're overworked. I do believe that the Church Growth model is a catalyst to two destructive groups: The New Apostolic Reformation and the Emerging Church. Both groups overlap and have a very loose definition. They're both focus on contemporary worship, expansion of church brand (franchising), and mobilizing volunteering members as 'leaders' to grow their ministry. Little focus on biblical study, apologetics and genuine missional work with no agenda besides preaching of the gospel.
— Dave
comment_post_ID); ?> Thank you for sharing such a good article. It is a great lesson I learned from this article. I am one of the leaders in Emmanuel united church of Ethiopia (A denomination with more-than 780 local churches through out the country). I am preparing a presentation on succession planning for local church leaders. It will help me for preparation If you send me more resources and recommend me books to read on the topic. I hope we may collaborate in advancing leadership capacity of our church. God Bless You and Your Ministry.
— Argaw Alemu

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