Service http://ministrytodaymag.com/index.php/ministry-outreach/service Tue, 02 Sep 2014 22:23:31 -0400 Joomla! - Open Source Content Management en-gb 5 Keys to Keeping Volunteers Long Term http://ministrytodaymag.com/index.php/ministry-outreach/service/20962-5-keys-to-keeping-volunteers-long-term http://ministrytodaymag.com/index.php/ministry-outreach/service/20962-5-keys-to-keeping-volunteers-long-term

Enticing volunteers to stick around for the long haul can be a challenging proposition. What's the secret? Here are 5 suggestions that might help:

1.  Sweet Spot. Make sure you place volunteers in their "sweet spot."  In other words, place them in roles they are gifted in and passionate about.

When you ask most new volunteers where they want to serve, they will say, "Wherever you need me." But don't place them "where you need them."  Place them where they are gifted and passionate. And a month later, go back and ask them if they are in their sweet spot. If they're not, let them try another area.

People who are in their sweet spot will stay long term.  People who are not in their sweet spot will eventually catch the "burnout" germ.

2.  Relationships. Relationships are the glue that keep people serving in your ministry.  Create an atmosphere of family. People who do life together will continue doing ministry together long term.

3.  Time off.  Give your volunteers breaks. Create windows of margin that will allow them to be gone. If you don't allow them to take a vacation occasionally from serving, they will retire early from serving in your ministry.

4.  Increased responsibility. Many times volunteers will get bored in their role after a number of years. Challenge them to go to the next level in serving. Give them a fresh challenge or more responsibility. If you don't, they'll go looking somewhere else for it. 

5.  Appreciation. Take time to regularly show your appreciation. Honor them. Thank them. Tell them. Your thank yous may be the difference between a person serving for 10 years instead of 1 year.

What are some other tips for keeping your volunteers long-term? Share your thoughts and ideas with us in the comment section below.

Dale Hudson has served in children and family ministry for over 24 years. He is the director of children's ministries at Christ Fellowship Church in Palm Beach, Florida. He was recently named one of the top 20 influencers in children's ministry. He is the coauthor of four ministry books, including Turbocharged: 100 Simple Secrets to Successful Children's Ministry.

For the original article, visit relevantchildrensministry.com.

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shawn.akers@charismamed.com (Dale Hudson) Service Wed, 04 Jun 2014 19:00:00 -0400
How to Recruit a Steady Group of Positive Volunteers http://ministrytodaymag.com/index.php/ministry-outreach/service/20668-how-to-recruit-a-steady-group-of-positive-volunteers http://ministrytodaymag.com/index.php/ministry-outreach/service/20668-how-to-recruit-a-steady-group-of-positive-volunteers

Recruiting volunteers for your church or religious group is a time-consuming process, especially if only one person has taken on the responsibility to do so. Recruiting and maintaining a good group of volunteers can make things much easier when you hold community events, church services, fundraisers, and other occasions that require the help of others.

Here are some tips that can help you recruit and hold on to volunteers for the long-term:

Start By Advertising
Most people won’t know you’re actively looking for volunteers unless you make it known. Advertising your need for volunteers can be as simple as a reminder during normal church services, a request in your church newsletter, or an advertisement on a bulletin board that’s viewable when people walk in or out of the building. If you’re actively recruiting for new volunteers, make sure you take advantage of all three right off the bat.

If your church has a website, post an advertisement that you’re looking for volunteers on the home page. Place it in a noticeable spot so it’s one of the first things your visitors see when they visit your website. If your local community has a website with a free classifieds section, try posting an advertisement. The same goes if you have a sign at your location that’s visible from the street. Make it well known that you’re actively looking for and recruiting volunteers.

Ask People for Their Help
Advertising that you’re actively recruiting volunteers is a great place to start, but you may find that people just aren’t responding. In addition to advertising as much as possible, get out there and ask people in your community or congregation if they’d be willing to volunteer on either a short- or long-term basis. Don’t push for an answer on the spot - give them a chance to think about it by scheduling a follow-up conversation after a few days.

It may be a good idea to get to know people before asking for a commitment. You’d be surprised at how willing people are to volunteer once you get to know them on a more personal level.

Don’t Recruit By Yourself
After you have a few volunteers committed to helping the cause, ask for their help with the recruitment efforts. If all the recruitment efforts fall back on to you or one other person, it’s most likely not enough. Take a few minutes to train your current volunteers on how to effectively recruit others. Ask them to reach out to their personal network, like family and close friends who may share some of the same common interests.

You’ll find it’s much easier to maintain a group of volunteers if you share the same morals, values, and goals.

Don’t Limit Yourself to Word of Mouth
Take advantage of technology to reach out to people and ask for their help. If you have a community newsletter or email, send a quick message to your list of subscribers asking for their help in volunteering or passing on the message to those who can.

Social networks are a great way to spread the message, as well. If your group has a Facebook page or Twitter profile, advertise your recruitment efforts on these social networks to get the word out.

When you hold local events or community service, try to recruit others to join you during the event itself. Don’t be afraid to use prayer as a way to recruit others and bring your current volunteers closer together.

Start your recruitment efforts by advertising during service; on your website; and via local bulletins, newsletters, and emails. Reach out to people individually and ask for their help once you get to know them. Bring your faith into the events you hold—prayer is a powerful tool for yourself and those around you. Recruiting people that share the same values as you can help maintain them in the long-term.

Brian Flax holds a master’s degree in education technology and a bachelor’s in entertainment business.

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shawn.akers@charismamed.com (Brian Flax) Service Tue, 28 Jan 2014 17:00:00 -0500
How to Create a Culture of Serving http://ministrytodaymag.com/index.php/ministry-outreach/service/20458-create-a-culture-of-serving http://ministrytodaymag.com/index.php/ministry-outreach/service/20458-create-a-culture-of-serving

One of the ways I use social media is to keep an eye on other pastors and churches and see what they’re up to. Through the years, I’ve noticed that several churches highlight a Volunteer of the Week (VOW). I first saw Elevation Church in Charlotte, N.C., do this. After keeping my eye on this initiative for quite some time, I was inspired to start it at my own church.

I believe in this idea so much that I actually own it at my church. Eventually I’ll pass it on to another leader, but for now I’m putting all my effort and energy into getting it started. We’ve been doing this for about a month now. Here’s a sample of what we post in my weekly blog and email to the church (and also include in our handout):

Volunteer of the Week

“This week’s VOW is Darin Cooley. Darin serves in a number of ways at Forest Park Carthage, including working on our First Impressions and parking lot teams, preparing Communion, unlocking the church doors each Sunday morning, collecting the offering after the second service and leading a LifeGroup. Darin is a true servant, and we are blessed and encouraged by his cheerful spirit and servant’s heart. If you’d like to serve on our First Impressions team, please contact Pastor Matt.”

There you go—short, sweet and to the point! We always end each writeup with a call to action (e.g., “If you’re interested in our First Impressions team, please contact Pastor Matt.”)

Why did we start this feature at our church? We saw no negatives and all positives. It highlights great servants in our church and allows us to brag on them. It gives them a shot in the arm and fires them up to keep serving. And it reinforces our culture of serving.

After people in our church see these types of notices multiple times, I’m confident the idea will be part of what God uses to bring new volunteers to our teams. Here’s how we made it happen:

  • I asked all our staff and team leaders to send me a list of 10 volunteers they’d like to see highlighted and recognized and why.
  • We asked a volunteer photographer in our church to go around on Sunday morning and take pictures of all the people on the list I compiled.
  • We looked through the pictures and list and considered how these volunteers serve and then laid out our future VOWs. (Note: We try to rotate between male and female volunteers as well as among different ministries, such as Kid City, students, worship, tech, First Impressions, cafe and so on).

In addition to featuring volunteers, here are a few other ideas for making sure volunteers are recognized and appreciated:

  • Send a personal thank-you note from the pastor.
  • Set aside preferred parking for the VOW.
  • Film a video highlighting a volunteer.
  • Assign a strong volunteer to represent the church for a community event.
  • Develop "Volunteer Sunday," and use it to acknowledge all volunteers.
  • Post a thank-you note in a volunteer’s work area before he arrives for his shift.
  • Create a photo wall in a hallway recognizing volunteer years of service.
  • Plan an annual volunteer appreciation dinner.
  • Take advantage of National Volunteer Appreciation Week (usually the second or third week in April). 

Try these easy ideas in your church as soon as next week. We’re seeing positive takeaways as people feel appreciated and more people start to ask, “How can I serve in my church?”

Greg Atkinson has been in ministry for two decades and has been writing, speaking and training thousands of church leaders since 2000. He now serves as the campus pastor at Forest Park Carthage, a multisite church in Southwest Missouri.

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webmaster@strang.com (Greg Atkinson) Service Wed, 13 Nov 2013 14:00:00 -0500
8 Suggestions for Improving Your Church’s Grief Care http://ministrytodaymag.com/index.php/ministry-outreach/service/20352-8-suggestions-for-improving-your-church-s-grief-care http://ministrytodaymag.com/index.php/ministry-outreach/service/20352-8-suggestions-for-improving-your-church-s-grief-care

Grief-church-careLoss is hard. Although everyone handles grief differently, I’m convinced that nobody handles it easily.

One of the ways that Christ comforts His children is through His body—the church. Romans 12:15 reminds us to “weep with those who weep” (ESV). After all, that’s what Jesus did. When His friend Lazarus died, He wept with Mary and Martha over their loss (John 11:35).

So when Jesus gives us, His ambassadors on earth, an opportunity to represent Him through comforting those experiencing loss; we must not take it lightly. That’s why I think it is vital that every church think through their own “care plan” now.

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shawn.akers@charismamed.com (Scott Attebery) Service Mon, 09 Sep 2013 20:00:00 -0400
How Great Is Your Faithfulness? http://ministrytodaymag.com/index.php/ministry-outreach/service/20075-how-great-is-your-faithfulness http://ministrytodaymag.com/index.php/ministry-outreach/service/20075-how-great-is-your-faithfulness

Greg-Mauro-PreachingWhile we live in a world that celebrates jumping from one relationship to the next, faithfulness has taken a backseat to self-interest. And sad to say, the church world appears to be not far behind, as Christians hop from one church, one ministry and one message to the next.

All of that is motivated by the bottom line—what’s in it for me and what’s best for me?

Like honor, faithfulness is big in God’s eyes yet certainly not valued highly in the day and age we live in.

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shawn.akers@charismamed.com (Greg Mauro) Service Mon, 29 Apr 2013 13:00:00 -0400
O-B-E-Y Spells Success in Ministry http://ministrytodaymag.com/index.php/ministry-outreach/service/20027-o-b-e-y-spells-success-in-ministry http://ministrytodaymag.com/index.php/ministry-outreach/service/20027-o-b-e-y-spells-success-in-ministry

Spain-Crusade-2001There is a four-letter word that will sentence you to success as your serve another person’s ministry: O-B-E-Y! Obedience is coming under the authority of your mentor. In other words, submission is the key.

Elisha came under the authority of Elijah and received the blessing of the double portion:

“And so it was, when they had crossed over, that Elijah said to Elisha, 'Ask! What may I do for you, before I am taken away from you?' Elisha said, 'Please let a double portion of your spirit be upon me.' So he said, 'You have asked a hard thing. Nevertheless, if you see me when I am taken from you, it shall be so for you; but if not, it shall not be so'” (2 Kings 2:9-10).

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shawn.akers@charismamed.com (Greg Mauro) Service Tue, 16 Apr 2013 20:00:00 -0400
Proactive Servants Soar in the Ministry http://ministrytodaymag.com/index.php/ministry-outreach/service/20015-proactive-servants-soar-in-the-ministry http://ministrytodaymag.com/index.php/ministry-outreach/service/20015-proactive-servants-soar-in-the-ministry

Dr. Morris-CerulloOne of the great privileges and most rewarding opportunities you can experience serving another man’s ministry is found in the secret of being a proactive servant.

A proactive person is defined as one who “creates or controls a situation by causing something to happen rather than responding to it after it has happened.”

A fruitful, effective disciple is much more than an order taker. After proving yourself faithful over time, a foundation of trust is established that is the key ingredient required to move from a relationship of simple service to becoming a proactive partner.

I will never forget Moscow, 1989.

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shawn.akers@charismamed.com (Greg Mauro) Service Wed, 10 Apr 2013 16:00:00 -0400
Laurie Beshore: Love Without Walls http://ministrytodaymag.com/index.php/ministry-outreach/service/19957-laurie-beshore-love-without-walls http://ministrytodaymag.com/index.php/ministry-outreach/service/19957-laurie-beshore-love-without-walls

mariners-outreach-ministryEven with the best of intentions, things have a way of going south.

When we launched our outreach ministry (at Mariners Church in Orange County, Calif.), the first thing we thought to do was meet the basic needs of the people we were serving. Sounds reasonable, right? They need groceries; we’ll give them a bag of food. They need winter coats? Got it. School supplies? Check. Then we’ll teach them about Jesus and they’ll pray the prayer and bam! We’re all good.

But wait.

If we really believe in an irresistible Savior whose love is the most powerful force on earth, why is it we cling to manipulative tools, gimmicks and cheap material resources to all but bribe someone into the kingdom of heaven?

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shawn.akers@charismamed.com (Laurie Beshore) Service Thu, 07 Mar 2013 17:00:00 -0500
Rick Warren: God Wants Your Contribution http://ministrytodaymag.com/index.php/ministry-outreach/service/19901-rick-warren-god-wants-your-contribution http://ministrytodaymag.com/index.php/ministry-outreach/service/19901-rick-warren-god-wants-your-contribution

Rick-Warren-Saddleback-Church-small“A spiritual gift is given to each of us as so we can help each other.” (1 Cor. 12:7, NLT)

God has a unique role for you to play in his family.

This is your ministry, and God has gifted you for this assignment: “A spiritual gift is given to each of us so we can help each other.” (1 Cor. 12:7, NLT).

Your local fellowship is the place God designed for you to discover, develop and use your gifts. You may also have a wider ministry, but that is in addition to your service in a local body. Jesus has not promised to build your ministry; he has promised to build his church.

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shawn.akers@charismamed.com (Rick Warren) Service Wed, 13 Feb 2013 17:00:00 -0500
Rick Warren: God Calls Us to a Life of Service http://ministrytodaymag.com/index.php/ministry-outreach/service/19872-god-calls-you-to-serve-others http://ministrytodaymag.com/index.php/ministry-outreach/service/19872-god-calls-you-to-serve-others

Rick-Warren-Saddleback-Church-small“It is God himself who has made us what we are and given us new lives from Christ Jesus; and long ages ago he planned that we should spend these lives in helping others.” (Ephesians 2:10 LB)

God calls you to a service far beyond anything you could ever imagine. You were put on Earth to make a contribution.

You weren’t created just to consume resources—to eat, breathe, and take up space. God designed you to make a difference with your life. You were created to add to life on Earth, not just take from it. God wants you to give something back.

The Bible says, “In our union with Christ Jesus he has created us for a life of good deeds, which he has already prepared for us to do” (Ephesians 2:10b TEV). These “good deeds” are your service to the world. Whenever you serve others in any way, you are actually serving God and fulfilling one of your purposes (Colossians 3:23-24; Matthew 25:34-45; Ephesians 6:7).

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shawn.akers@charismamed.com (Rick Warren) Service Thu, 31 Jan 2013 17:00:00 -0500
Counting The Cost http://ministrytodaymag.com/index.php/ministry-outreach/service/19372-counting-the-cost http://ministrytodaymag.com/index.php/ministry-outreach/service/19372-counting-the-cost

Measuring your ministry will help to increase its impactd-MinOut-Service

 

I’m a numbers guy. I love to challenge people with goals we can measure. So when God called the Rock Church to be “first responders” in sharing God’s love in the community, naturally I looked for ways to measure our success.

First, some background. I started the Rock Church in San Diego in 2000. By God’s grace it has grown to be the city’s largest, averaging 12,500 worshippers each Sunday. With that comes some incredible opportunities and challenges. The biblical stances we have taken on politically charged debates sometimes put the Rock in opponents’ cross hairs. But they also open doors to ministry and to relationships with community leaders.

San Diego County is approximately the size of the state of Connecticut. Like many regions in the United States these days, we’re facing serious budget cuts and reduced services. Likewise, the city of San Diego, the eighth largest in the U.S., is hurting. One out of every 10 people are without work, and more than 12 percent live below the poverty line.

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webmaster@strang.com (Miles McPherson) Service Tue, 10 Jan 2012 18:42:08 -0500
The Significance of Serving http://ministrytodaymag.com/index.php/ministry-outreach/service/830-the-significance-of-serving http://ministrytodaymag.com/index.php/ministry-outreach/service/830-the-significance-of-serving

 


shakehandAccording to one study, people are running out the back doors of churches in the United States at a rate of 52,000 per week. This alarming trend could be reversed if the body of Christ discovered the true meaning of hospitality.

There are few subjects of a more practical or potent nature for the end-time church or for the healing of America than that of hospitality. Here are the seeds that will revolutionize your life as a servant to God's people. Here lies one of the greatest secrets of church growth and a divine prescription for racial healing. Here is preparation for the end-time church, practically translating agape love.

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fake+Charles_Crismier@charismamedia.com (Charles Crismier) Service Mon, 01 Jan 2001 05:00:00 -0500