“She just quit, what do we do now?” In First Church, options for volunteers were limited in filling ministry positions. Sunday School teachers or Children’s ministry staff were hard to come by. When a position was vacated, it typically created a crisis. The next step was predictable: scouring the list of potential replacements, approaching these people to see which one could be convinced to fill the position, and breathing easy until the cycle was once again repeated. The main requirements for fulfilling any position was availability and willingness. This type of recruiting was not unusual, and unfortunately it had become the norm for First Church.
In contrast, Community Church did not struggle in filling ministry positions, since church members were aware of the needs, had been given the training for potential positions, and had a well-defined description of the expectations and time-table for each possibility. When a volunteer’s term was up, the leadership had developed an up-to-date list of highly qualified workers, and some ministries actually had an assigned rotation so no one was over-burdened.
The descriptions above laid out two very different models for recruitment. Both are methods for managing volunteers for the work of service in the preparation of disciples in God’s church. Recruiting volunteers in a system resembling the first one is born from desperation (Krych, 2006). If the vacated position was not filled immediately, a room full of kids would have no one to watch them. The second example, which implemented an environment of cultivating leadership, utilized a well-defined discipling process that helped prepare disciples for ministry in a prayerful and methodical way. By enabling the dis...
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Bays, P. (2006). The care and nurture of volunteers. Clergy Journal, 82(7), 8-10.
De Oliveira, J. (2008). A light touch: motivating and leading volunteers. Journal of Applied Christian Leadership, 2(2), 68-73.
Heflin, H. (2003). Theories of motivation and youth ministry's adolescent learners. Journal Of Youth Ministry, 2(1), 57-70.
Krych, M. A. (2006). Church snapshot: Recruiting and training volunteer teachers. Clergy Journal, 82(5), 19-20.
Peers, L. P. (2009). From stressed to blessed: A conversation for recomposing volunteer service in the congregation. Congregations, 36(4), 22-26.
Severe, M. K. (2006). The pac-man syndrome: The missing congruence of philosophy and practice in youth ministry. Journal Of Youth Ministry, 4(2), 75-104.
Smith, M. F. (2005). Recruiting and maintaining a corps of volunteers isn't easy. Executive Speeches, 19(6), 28-31.
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