Placing Volunteers Never Works, So Try This

Last week on the My Ministry Breakthrough Podcast, Todd Adkins and I discussed a bit of the difference between just placing volunteers in ministry positions and truly developing leaders for ministry roles. It got me to thinking… how would a church staff person know the difference?

Here are 12 signs you’re just placing volunteers… not developing leaders:

  1. The excuses of why they will miss this Sunday keep getting lamer and lamer.
  2. Lots of people fill out a card, next to nobody shows up for your training.
  3. Training keeps getting put off until  “things slow down”  and never happens.
  4. No new ministry has been added, yet the same number of vacancies exist each year.
  5. Your team comes to you for answers to every problem, even the most minute.
  6. Not much gets done if you’re not around.
  7. You’re banking on the worship service announcements to get you some more names.
  8. You’re proud of how much busywork you’ve delegated.
  9. Everyone on your team has a different definition of success.
  10. You have a ministry org chart but no process for existing leaders to take on a new responsibility.
  11. It’s easier to be jealous or critical of success in other ministries instead of celebrating it.
  12. You find yourself dreaming of ministry somewhere else and struggle to see a better future where you are.
It’s not just wordplay, there is a difference between developing leaders for the long haul and placing volunteers to meet a ministry need.
Which are you REALLY doing?
To learn more, check out these great Leadership Development Resources:
My Ministry Breakthrough Podcast Episode 4 with Todd Adkins of LifeWay Leadership 
Leadership Development Video Resources from Mac Lake
Leadership Pipeline Coaching for Churches 
Pipeline Conference in Nashville
> Read more from Bryan.
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Bryan Rose

Bryan Rose

As Lead Navigator for Auxano, Bryan Rose has a strong bias toward merging strategy and creativity within the vision of the local church and has had a diversity of experience in just about every ministry discipline over the last 12 years. With his experience as a multi-site strategist and campus pastor at a 3500 member multi-campus church in the Houston Metro area, Bryan has a passion to see “launch clarity” define the unique Great Commission call of developing church plants and campus, while at the same time serving established churches as they seek to clarify their individual ministry calling. Bryan has demonstrated achievement as a strategic thinker with a unique ability to infuse creativity into the visioning process while bringing a group of people to a deep sense of personal ownership and passion.

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comment_post_ID); ?> Thank you for this information. I'm going to use this article to improve my work with the Lord.
— 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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