Does this question scare you? It completely freaks me out.
Let’s go a step further.
If your volunteers were to adopt your habits, your values, your work ethic, your pace of life, and your passion for Jesus, would they succeed?
Would they still be serving in ministry in 5-10 years?
Or would they suffer from boredom or burnout?
Believe it or not, you are reproducing who you are in others.
I was having a long overdue conversation with a good friend recently and was asking him some questions about the church he was a part of.
The church seems to be thriving. Strong leaders are birthed, catch a certain spiritual DNA, and are released to lead amazing ministries themselves.
It got me thinking about the culture I’m creating in my ministry.
What Culture Are You Creating?
Is it more about doing ministry or empowering others to do ministry?
Are you more concerned with the “who” or the “what”?
If you’re even remotely connected to church work and church life, it’s busy. We need the help of numerous volunteers to pull off events.
Beyond just getting a volunteer behind the drum cage or in the tech booth, I’m sure you want to make disciples. You don’t want your volunteers to serve for a short time and leave burned out.
You want your volunteers to have a life-changing experiencing serving under your ministry.
You want it to be a pivotal moment in their life where they catch a fire for Jesus like they never have before.
You want them to be launched into a ministry that they never thought possible.
How does this happen?
5 Ways to Raise Up and Release People
I thought of at least 5 ways we can transition from using and abusing to raising up and releasing:
1. Connect the ministry activity to a higher vision
Any ministry in the church is more than just itself. Cleaning toilets, playing bass, leading a small group, working in the nursery. Always envision others with the “why” behind the “what”.
Talk about the souls who are getting saved. Give them a Biblical vision for what they’re doing. Connect the ministry to a higher vision beyond the “task”.
2. Help them discover their gifts
I’m usually able to spot this pretty quickly. Unless you’re working with an arrogant person, most volunteers have some confidence issues. They don’t feel they’re really “that good.”
Help them discover what they’re good at. This can happen through a conversation or by observation. I usually ask God to give me discernment and open my eyes to see others with potential.
3. Give them opportunity
Opportunity to fail, make mistakes, and take a chance. If all you do is micro-manage and use them to serve you, they won’t last. They need opportunity to soar.
Give them deeper responsibility. Create a safe environment for trial and error.
4. Speak constant encouragement
Not just “good job” or “nice work”. Validate the gift of God in your volunteers. Tell them what you see in them. Speak of their potential and destiny. Call it out.
I can think back to specific moments in my life where other men of God validated my gift. It was life changing. You don’t realize the power that your words have. Speak encouragement often. You can’t overdo it.
5. Express Gratitude
When was the last time you thanked your volunteers for what they do? Along with encouragement of their gifts, express gratitude just as often. They take time out of their crazy lives to serve God’s people. That’s a beautiful sacrifice.
Thank them, honor them, don’t take for granted what God has blessed you with.
You see, making disciples is all about influence. You have more potential to influence destinies on your team. It’s time to start harnessing it for the kingdom.
The Secret to Being A Person of Influence
Think about what you do.
Chances are, someone told you you were good at it.
The reason you are a successful songwriter, worship leader, musician, pastor, or artist is because someone spoke to you. For a moment in time, they stepped outside of themselves and lit up your life.
Your words have more power than you realize.
Matter of fact, your influence depends on it.
I wouldn’t have started blogging if my friend hadn’t encouraged me to go for it.
I wouldn’t have continued blogging if another friend didn’t say it was making a difference.
I wouldn’t have started leading worship if people didn’t speak to my potential.
Matter of fact, I may not be following Jesus if someone didn’t speak a few words to me.
And you have that opportunity today.
Why Don’t We Speak Out?
But why don’t we do it more often? What keeps us from encouraging others?
Well, for one, we’re selfish. We are so set on our own success that we don’t leave time for others.
We’re also competitive. If we encourage someone else, that steals time away from our own self-promotion. Of course we don’t do this on purpose. It’s a part of our lives.
We’re in a race to the top.
Some of you feel like you don’t have anything to offer. You mistakenly believe that influence is a novelty for the especially talented – for those who have accomplished much and have earned the right to speak.
Not so. To be honest, many people who influenced me weren’t that skilled or accomplished. They simply chose to speak.
The Challenge for This Week
I have a challenge for you today. I want you to speak into someone’s life. I want you to declare a huge dream over someone. And really mean it.
We dream about changing the world. We see the need, we pray, we discuss – but are we taking any action?
This is a simple way to do just that. Every day, you can change the world through your words. It’s all about building a habit.
It’s entirely possible to be so wrapped up in your own success that you ignore those around you. That, in my opinion, is a wasted life.
At the end of the day, I want to be surrounded by unlikely people who reached incredible destiny. Don’t just dream big dreams for yourself. Declare massive dreams over others.
Are you up for the challenge of making disciples?
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