October 10 (Tomato Soup with Toasted Cheese Croutons), originally uploaded by romanlily.
I’ve been thinking a lot about volunteers. Being in full time children’s minsiry as a pastor, I have the wonderful privilege to work with some amazing volunteers. (And I’m not just saying that because some of them might read this post.) The challenge in working with volunteers is how do you best enrich them and equip them for what they are doing.
When it comes to children’s ministry, much of what we think about first is giving them resources on how to be better teacher, shepherds, large group communicators. We give them resources on how to deal with ADD, curriculum and leading a child to Christ. I wonder, though, if this is where we should be placing most of our effort and time. Now, I’m not saying that we stop teaching our volunteers how to best do their jobs. I’m just wondering if we should put most of our efforts elsewhere.
A few months ago I was challenged by something our senior pastor brought up at a staff meeting, and I’ve been thinking more about it recently. The issue is which ministry area brings us the most Kingdom impact? While I do believe that children’s ministry is important and essential, I am becoming more and more convinced that a strong adult ministry must exist in order for a church to grow. You need healthy and growing adults in order for any of the ministries at a church (children’s ministry included) to grow and be successful. Without healthy and growing adults who would be involved in the different ministry areas?
With that in mind, I’ve been wondering about how to best equip the volunteers God has entrusted to me. In years past, I have focused on growing my leaders in skill pertaining to children’s ministry each year. I would pick a theme for the year based on something having to do with growing in children’s ministry. This year, I am going to put most of my efforts in growing the children’s ministry volunteers spiritually. Starting in mid-October when we have our children’s ministry summit for all children’s ministry volunteers here, we are going to be going through 40 Days Living the Jesus Creed. Instead of 40 days, though, we are going to go through it a week at a time.
I am hoping to help all of us get a better handle on what it really means to “love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind and with all your strength” and to “love your neighbour as yourself.” Scot McKnight does an amazing job bringing what he calls The Jesus Creed throughout scriptures showing how it permeates how God wants us to live and what that means. I am hoping for this to be a powerful experience for the children’s ministry volunteers. We’ll see how it goes!
What do you do in order to pour into the spiritual growth of your volunteers?