Last week, I shared three ideas with our staff on leadership in the church. Over the next few days, I thought I’d share them on here as well. I’d love to hear your thoughts on them!
Recruit to Jesus
One of the most common challenges of being a leader in a church setting is the issue of recruiting. We are called to rally an all volunteer army. Every other leader / manager in the for profit world has the leverage of the all mighty paycheck, but our teams are comprised of people sacrificing their time, energy, and talents to serve their local church.
This turns into a challenge for us, because most of us doing the recruiting are pastors. We followed Jesus into this role because we love Him, we love people, and we want to serve and help them. Any of the knuckleheads who get into ministry because they think it’s a shortcut to power and prestige usually burn out in a few months of day-to-day ministry. The rest of us stay because we want to see Jesus formed in the people in our church families.
Most of us can recruit volunteers to the areas of ministry that we love with ease. If you’re a worship leader, and you love to sing, recruiting volunteers to sing is usually a joy. You love singing, they love singing, you invite to come sing as worship and lead others, and you’re off and running. But when that same worship pastor hates to do the administrative work in their job, they will usually hold on to themselves. I mean, why would you EVER ask someone in your church that you care about to do a job that you yourself don’t even like to do? You LIKE that person, you would never curse them to paperwork Hades. So, we either hold on to the jobs we hate the most, the ones we are least talented at, the tasks that suck the very joy out of a sunny day. Or, we get so desperate that we step up and try to recruit someone to help us with our endless paperwork (or whatever part of your ministry you don’t like).
How do we ask? Usually something like this: “Frieda, I was wondering if I can get you to help me out? I have this paperwork that needs done each week to turn into the church treasurer. I mean, I can’t stand the stuff, and I hate to bug you, but I’m kinda desperate. If you don’t want to, I completely understand. If you could help, I’m sure God will give you some kind of super saint award someday for great suffering. But if not, don’t feel guilty. I can always just do it myself. What do you think? Want to try it for a day or two?”
The problems are we assume that:
- Because we hate it, everyone hates that task.
- Frieda will help because she loves Jesus, but she won’t like it.
- We are bad leaders for giving away stinky work.
What a great leader does is work against those values, and takes on a different understanding. They will realize that:
- God has gifted someone in your church with a talent and love for the task you don’t like.
- If I connect the right gifted person with the role, they will find joy and satisfaction in using their gifts to serve Jesus.
- Good leaders always find ways to help people use their gifts to serve.
So, when we ask, we need to do a few things:
- Pray for who is the right person to ask with the right gifts
- Invite them to partner with you and invest their time and gifts in serving Jesus.
- Remind them that there is no greater thing in this world that partnering with Him to grow His kingdom, and to serve others.
- Be clear about what you need them to do, and have a written set of expectations. Define for them, in writing, what success in their role looks like.
- Cheer for them as they serve, and tell them how much they are furthering the kingdom in your ministry.
- Always, always, always point them to Jesus.
When we do these things, the ministry grows, our people grow, we grow, and the kingdom grows. What’s not to like about that.
How has this worked for you? Any ideas on what else to do, or what could be done better?