How To Get Volunteers

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Let’s be honest, we all need volunteers. We’ve got the vision, we’ve got the passion, we’ve got the focus and drive, we’ve got the revelation. But no matter how much we have, we need people to help us make these things come to pass.

From the beginning, God equipped man to have someone help him. The same is true for our churches and our organizations. If we’re going to succeed and see our plans come to pass, we need people! Here’s a few quick thoughts on how to get volunteers for your church or your ministry

Start Relationships

More often than not, we recruit volunteers by talking about what they can do for us, rather than what we can do for them. We ask for their collaboration with our vision before we have community and connection with them as people. It’s great to do ministry together, it’s better to do life together.

Be Passionate

Every volunteer position might not seem like a fun and exciting thing, but how we communicate the need can make it exciting. Here in Palm Springs, our summers are 100+ degrees every day. But recruiting parking lot volunteers is never difficult. Our parking lot attendants don’t stand in the sun, they help lead our guests into the most convenient spaces, then help guide them into our facility so they can encounter Jesus. If we think about it, every volunteer need is about helping other encounter Jesus. So, if we’re passionate about people encountering Jesus, we’ll always be passionate about volunteers helping this happen.

Have A Plan

Plain and simple, don’t ask someone to volunteer for something that you don’t understand. This is where preparation becomes essential. Be sure to take time during the week to prepare for volunteers so that when they show up, there’s direction and purpose behind what they’re doing. There’s nothing worse than a willing heart in one of our volunteers not being able to be used because of no plan.

Make Each Role Vision-Driven

This is very similar to points 2 and 3. If everything we do lines up with our vision, we have to be certain that each volunteer need supports that vision. There are plenty of great ideas out there, but a great idea doesn’t always line up with vision. If you’re church doesn’t need a valet team….. that’s okay!

Commit To Leading Them

If someone’s going to volunteer, it should be because it’s leading them somewhere. Being unfulfilled is something that haunts so many people in our day and age. As leaders, we’ve got to show them that serving others, which is the core foundation of the Gospel, will lead them to a better understanding of Jesus, a greater love for people, and leaves them unbelievably fulfilled. Before they start serving, let’s commit to leading them and showing them Jesus.

These are just some of the hundreds of thoughts when it comes to getting church volunteers. We believe if you’re going to do something great, you’ve got to have people doing it with you! Here’s some questions we’ll leave you with:

  1. What’s the current state of our volunteers?
  2. What are some things we can do better to celebrate and serve them?
  3. How many of them truly understand the vision?

We love you, we’re praying for you, we believe in you!

 

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Junior High Small Groups: Why We Love Them, Why We Need Them

sg.jpgThree years ago our student ministry here at Destiny officially launched our Junior High Ministry. There was a huge need for their own space, and quite frankly we didn’t feel they were being reached effectively. If you work with Junior High students, you know the struggle: they’re too young to be in kids church, and they’re not quite ready to be in High School ministry. This tension between “Child-Care” and teenage discipleship tends to be growing in churches around the country.

Amongst other things, there is a huge swell of junior high ministries implementing small groups during their normal services hours. This method seems to be highly advantageous as it combines a junior highers need to talk, but also involves their unseen desire to discuss difficulties in understanding Christianity. Yes, our junior high students sometimes struggle to understand the fullness of the Christian faith. (I mean you and I are adults and we don’t get it sometimes, imagine our students!)

Believe it or not there are more junior high students today claiming atheism than ever before.  This is where organizations like the Secular Students Alliance and the American Atheists Movement are succeeding. With such a battle between science and religion in our schools, it’s important that the church provides a space where 10 to 13 year olds can share what’s going through their mind when they hear about Jesus, and also what preconceived notions are due to the culture around them.

In the past three years of junior high ministry we’ve felt the need to keep pushing our small group time on Sunday mornings and Sunday nights. We’ll begin with a game, worship, followed by a brief 5-10 message and then break into our small groups. Of course keeping the attention span of a 12 year old can be difficult, but when done properly it leads to so much fruit! Here’s a few thoughts, and challenges, when it comes to having small group time for your junior high ministry.

1. Groups help them EXPRESS their mind

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As I stated earlier, groups have to give room for students to share how they really feel about God. Often times this expression is rooted in confusion, lack of exemplifying in their families, or what culture has taught them. But if our groups aren’t letting our students be transparent, we may be missing it. Every time you lead a small group of students be prepared for real, and sometimes pressing questions.

Leaders Tip: Make sure your team is trained in not just the basics of Christian faith, but also ready to discuss questions about God’s existence, the origin of humanity, the definition of sin, and much more

2. Groups help them EXPERIENCE Jesus

sg1.jpgWe believe that a small group of junior highers is sometimes the best place to let the Holy Spirit move. It can be when someone is sharing a story that everyone listening begins to feel compassion for the person speaking. It can be when someone is explaining the Gospel that students truly feel God’s love and grace. When these moments pop up in your small group, be ready to shift and even sometimes pray for students that experience God.

Leaders Tip: Have your team of volunteers praying for these moments in small groups. It’s great to pray that they would get saved or discover Jesus, but it’s also a good thing to pray for conversations and dialogue to be spirit-led. Ephesians 1:17-19 is great to pray through for your students.

3. Groups help them EXERCISE their faith

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It’s happened many times in our small groups; students beginning to encourage each other. Usually you know within the first 5 minutes who is who, that is, who are the leaders, and who are those that need to be led a little closer. Let groups give your students a place to grow in their compassion and love for one another.

Leaders Tip: When one student shares a struggle, use phrases like, “What do you guys think?” or “How would you handle that?”

If you’re currently holding junior high small groups, keep going! We pray that some of these tips and tricks will help only enhance and grow the importance of genuine conversation amongst your leaders and your students. If you’re not holding groups for students, pray and see if maybe it’s something you should be doing. Each church is different, but one thing that we all need is community!

We love you, we’re praying for you, and we believe that the best is ahead!