As a leader of any group of volunteers it can be very tempting to fall into the trap of “I'll just do it myself.” It can be easier than calling someone to come and serve and more simple than coordinating a volunteer schedule. But there is a problem with that. You are doing all the work. There is another problem too. You aren't using the people that God gave you to work with.
Did you know that as a minister and a leader you aren't called by God to do all of the work yourself? In fact, you are actually encouraged in the Bible to equip others to do the work.
Ephesians 4:11-12 - Now these are the gifts Christ gave to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers. Their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ.
Your primary function is not to merely use the skills God has given you, but to use those abilities to equip others. This is contrary to how many of us operate. We just do all the work. If we do somehow end up getting a volunteer, we don't do a very good job equipping them and they end up getting frustrated and bailing out of the ministry. We are sad that they left but inside we use that to reaffirm that no one can really do it as well as we can.
The first thing to understand is what it means to equip someone. It is not simply just teaching someone to do something. It means that you come alongside of them and give them the tools and training that gives them the best chance of success.
So, here are some ways that you can actually equip those volunteers that God brings into our area of ministry.
This is a pretty obvious one and something that most tech directors do pretty well. You take the recruit through all of the ins and outs of the system so that they can operate it properly.
One of the best ways to discover how to best equip a person is by asking them good questions. Questions like: Do you understand what I am teaching you? Is there anything that you need? Do you feel comfortable with a particular responsibility? This allows them to offer you direct feedback showing areas that they might not be confident in and giving you the opportunity to fill in those gaps.
A great way to equip people is to provide them with quality and relevant information. Maybe you give them current training resources, instructional videos or the latest issue of Church Production Magazine. This helps to keep them in the loop not just of what your church is doing but helps them to see the bigger picture as well.
An aspect of equipping people is empowering them to make decisions. You give out choices and let someone help decide. This shows that you trust and value their input and it inspires them to dig deep and really discover what the best choice is.
All of these things are good, but it will fall short if you don't evaluate your volunteers. This obviously needs to be done gently and with a heavy dose of grace. But realize that your volunteers won't be able to improve in an area if they don't realize they might not be doing it correct.
In the end, you need to view your role as more than just a person who does the work of the technical ministry, but as someone who equips others to do that work. Wit this mindset you will greatly increase your value both to your church and to the Kingdom of God.
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