Archive for the ‘volunteers’ Category

But you shall receive power… – Acts 1:8

And He called the twelve to Himself, and began to send them out two by two, and gave them power over unclean spirits.- Mark 6:7

Power is a very important part of ministry.  Some may argue that we cannot give the same power that Jesus offered the Twelve.  However, we can empower those who serve alongside us in ministry as we tap into the power of the Holy Spirit.

Volunteers are the back bone of ministry.  The church survives on their dedicated and devoted service to congregaits and community members.  Volunteers make a difference by truly taking on thankless tasks for the benefit of others.  They constantly give and get little in return.

Motivate your volunteers.  Let them know that they are valuable to you and your ministry.  Do not assume that they know that.  Appreciate them in word and deed.  Share how much they mean to you.

Beyond saying how you feel about them, give them some added status and responsibility.  Challenge them to lead others and train others.  Someone’s lacking ministry power due to their lack of mentoring in their ministry, so no one else stepped up when someone else stepped out and everything just stopped because there was no successor.  Let your volunteers identify who they can bring in and build up to do what they do.

Inspire your people to get new things started.  New ideas come from people who have insights about how to do things better or differently.  Let them run with ideas that are soaked down in prayer and led by the Spirit.  Let them have at it since the Spirit has a hold of them and what is at hand.

The bottom line is that we need volunteers.  They step in and stand in the gap.  These are people who help us to help others who would otherwise be rendered helpless as they awaited government handouts or some miraculous movement of red tape for their benefit.  Let them have it as the Lord leads you as their leader.

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In ministry, we tend to do a lot of recruitment.  We load up real heavy on recruiting people.  We point out all of the finer points of the benefits of participating and what it really means to sign up for service within the ministry.  We do a lot on the recruitment end.

So what about retention?

You can do mass recruitment.  That’s no problem.  You need to retain volunteers in ministry on an individual basis.  You need to give them one-on-one treatment in order to keep them in the loop and on the team.

Volunteer retention is based on:

  • Relationships: who knows who?
  • Relevance: how are people whom we know are impacted?
  • Resourcefulness: where can we help and how can we give others hope?

If we train 10 volunteers to serve for 12 months and impact 10 people per month each, you could have 1,200 impacts within a year.  Think about that.  10 X 10 X 12 = 1,200.  One hundred people could be impacted by 10 people.  Imagine what a ministry of 20 or 25 people could do.  Think about how much potential you lose when you have to replace people rather than keeping things going smoothly time after time.

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Office Space (Special Edition with Flair!) [Blu-ray]I admit that I am out of shape.  I am getting better but I am not at my best.  I am still out of shape.  Since I know that, I try to be sure that I don’t go totally down hill off a lot of cheeseburgers and pizza.  I try to add some fruit.  Drink more water.  Cut out (or at least down) on the sodas. I am trying and I am getting closer to adding more to my health and fitness regimen.

I am seeking to add a workout that goes beyond my every now and then grabbing some barbells and working on curls in front of the mirror.  I need a workout.  I need to add a complete workout to my whole weekend to start and then get busy keeping that regimen on a regular basis.

http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=ministrioc-20&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=0790730995&fc1=000000&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifrWork, stress and depression can kill your spirit.  Stay strong and look at doing more to relax and relieve yourself.  I love that movie “Office Space.”  It reminds me that we can let it all get to you and cause you to cave in if you are not careful.  The truth hurts and it can kill you if you are not careful.  Get fit.  Get healthy.  Get started.

Next, I’ll get back to golfing.  I will start with the driving range first.

Otherwise, I’ll be like this guy below.

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The Legacy of William Carey: A Model for the Transformation of a Culture“Attempt great things for God; expect great things from God.” –William Carey

We can accomplish much for God.  We can accomplish much for God by devoting and dedicating ourselves to God’s business.  We accomplish so very much through what God already provides us within the Body of Christ. 

So I Send You / Workmen of God: Recognizing and Answering God's Call to ServiceWe can become victorious through the efforts of our volunteers.  Our work serves as an offering to God as we serve Him with joy and gladness.  Our victories are vicarious vignettes of what God does through us as His servants, His vessels, and His instruments.  We have to answer to God for how we handle what God has provided for us.  It comes down to stewardship, serving as God’s servants.

Focus on Volunteering: Ready-To-Print Resources for Volunteer OrganizationsLearn more about the riches of volunteer resourcesavailable:

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Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you againLuke 6:38 (KJV)

To get, you need to start by giving. Give and watch what you get back.
Do you want volunteers? Give a little of your time at your local chamber of commerce. Donate a few hours with your community foundation or local volunteer center. Once they get to know you and see your commitment to service, I bet they’d find a way to help you find more volunteers for your next community project than you’d be able to garner via Craig’s List.

Do you need supplies or gently-used items donated for your program? Give the research some time and attention. Put in the time searching the social sections and community news of your local papers. Go through the local business journals. Did a hometown company score that defense contract? They may be in line to unload some of their laptops or desktop computers. Get in touch with the community relations department. Did your local safety department get a grant from the CDC to do health outreach and awareness? Ensure that you are their contact person for expanding their reach into diverse urban populations.
Be an asset to others in order to garner what you need for your projects and programs.

“You make a living by what you get, but you make a life by what you give.”
Winston Churchill
Churchill: A Life

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 All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of their possessions was their own, but they shared everything they had. – Acts 4:32 (NIV)

Running short on your street mission and shelter funding or praying that the bank doesn’t shut down your community youth center? There may be some simple solutions right at your fingertips and within your reach. You can get some contributions coming in to support the ministry that you have going on within the community.

Share What You Do

You have to tell what you do and make it known to every one you interact with on any given day. Become your biggest spokesperson. People will gladly help you when they know that what you do is almost part of your natural DNA.

Build on the Business Buzz

Truly, even with a recession like this one, you can create some unique “selling” opportunities. Identify some organizations or corporations who have found themselves in hot water lately. Imagine if you had gotten to BP right after the oil spill in the Gulf. What better way to make up for a mess than to change the public’s perception of you as a public servant, corporate leader, or a marketplace mover and shaker. Get with the Better Business Bureau or local chamber of commerce in your community to see who may be prime candidates in a position to give and get press. You may have to be prepared for a media event like a press conference or ribbon cutting for the new wing of beds donated in the name of who knows who, but the dog and pony show come with the territory. That’s the decision you need to make in analyzing who you approach for help.

Create Giving Opportunities

The ability to host gala events of $50-plate roasts and special events that sizzle with the pizzazz of all of the bells and whistles may not be something within the range of your budget or even scope at this point. Create a special event and add the things that will attract niche audiences. Attach a trendy theme to the event. Don’t rent that hotel ballroom. Go for the art gallery or the contemporary art museum, even the historical landmark site. Make the place special and off the beaten path. Use everything that sets your event apart to attract the “new” rich, i.e. techies, skaters, environmentalists, vegans, and others.

Hometown Heroes

Get your local hometown heroes to help out with your fund-raising efforts. Where is that high school phenom who went pro? Whatever became of that cute girl from around the way who went to the Olympics when they were in Atlanta? Wasn’t there a pop music artist who grew up near here? Make your hometown heroes advocates and spokespeople for your cause.

Attach to a movement that’s bigger than your ministry. Create your own opportunities. Develop a plan. Explore and exercise your options. There is a way that you can get more money flowing into your ministry so that you can do more work. It can be done.

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Today’s Youth = Tomorrow’s Leaders

We adopted that as the tagline for Youth-N2-Action during its inception.  It is a simple but profound concept.  We may see them as youth today, pants sagging and iPods or cell phones connected to their ears, but see past the present.  See them as the future.  One day they will lead the way.

Look at the 2008 presidential campaign. President Obama did something extraordinary.  He got people out to vote.  He rallied others to get others to vote.  Yes, he utilized modern technology for raising funds, but he also utilized it as a medium and means for getting younger voters involved in the political process to bring about change.  Such a change led to a change that brought forth the change of a Black U.S. President, raising the level of achievement for those who have been short-changed and hamstrung in the past and the present by achievement gaps and other socioeconomic indicators.

Believe in today’s youth.  Seek to reach them through diverse programs.  They need everything from academics and athletics to the arts and sciences. Let them freely express themselves with everything from poetry to pottery, from rap to scrap booking. Allow them to develop into the well-rounded people we want leading our nation and embracing globalization. 

The last thing we would want as tomorrow’s senior citizens is for today’s youth to look at us with blank stares and ask: “Who are you? Now that you need me to step up I can’t because you you didn’t step up when I needed you.”

Let us not let that be the case for our collective futures.

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Evangelism is proclaiming and sharing the gospel message with the world.  We do it in numerous ways and by various means, but we are all called to do it.  Evangelism should be at the core of what we do as churches open in the name of Jesus.

We can proclaim the gospel by preaching, witnessing, or even through written material such as Bible tracts.  We can share the gospel by demonstrating our love for Christ and our fellow man through service, addressing the needs of those within our communities, and personal testimony, sharing our own trials and struggles that provides hope to those who live in darkness. We have many open avenues to share the Good News.  We must be sure that our people are exercising their God-given giftedness to glorify God and edify the body of Christ “for the work of the ministry.”

If we do not proclaim and share the gospel, we neglect one of the main purposes of the church’s existence as well as one of the greatest commands of the Lord and the least that we could do since being saved by His shed blood.  You ought to see that god is so good that you can’t help but talk it up with others.  It should be so good to you that you can’t contain yourself.

For more posts on evangelism, please visit Rev. Bruce’s Blog.  Also, be sure to visit our Life Path Storefront for S.O.W.S. (Salvation Offered Without Strings) and A Short Course on Evangelism.

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Here is a simple equation: Relationships = Resources.
Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. – John 15:4 (NIV)

Relationships are the basis for new partnerships and clients. Get to know people and you start to see how they can serve as resources in numerous ways.  Think about who you know and how they know others.  If you are a pastor, I dare you to look over the sea of faces that are within your congregation and see how many work for the local government and school system versus those who are part of the private sector.  Each one of those faces staring back at the pulpit represent resources and connections to other resources.  What you do with those relationships makes the difference. Do you only call on them when you need them? Or, do you call on them for prayer or just to check in, too?

Relationships represent resources.  You have to see beyond previous issues and humble yourself to see what the person represents.  Did they agree or disagree with the direction you took the church with the new building project? That’s not the issue.  Did you leave room for reconciliation? That’s the big question.  People disagree all of the time in church.  As a pastor or Christian leader, you need to get used to it and even expect it to a degree.  People are people. 

Gain resources by developing relationships.  You need to be sure to develop and maintain your relationships.

You need to manage your relationships.  Don’t let people slip away or become out of sight and out of mind.  Stay in touch with members who move away.  You never know how much you may need help from somebody from out of town. Be a bridge builder in your church and your community.

Develop more relationships by:

  • Expanding circle of influence & support
  • Forming genuine bonds through Christian fellowship
  • Learning not to hold grudges but keep doors open while not burning bridges

I posted a “special message” via my e-newsletter today.
Check out the Twitter “tweets” from Rev. Bruce @ www.twitter.com/lifepath01/

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And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ—from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.
-Ephesians 4:11-16 (NKJV)

We should strive to reach perfection. As we work in ministry, building up and strengthening the believers under our care, we are to lead them with teaching and training that guides them to become a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.

Our work is cut out for us. We are to work with imperfect people as imperfect people, helping one another to become more like Christ day by day despite our sinful nature. Like the Apostle Paul, an internal war wages within us with two opposing sides- our new nature versus our old nature. At times, we must rely upon the strength of the Lord to continue in striving. Let the Holy Spirit guide you in your development as you assist in the discipleship and development of others.

You are called to oversee what happens with the people under your leadership.  You must intercede on their behalf.  You may not always feel up to it.  You may not always feel appreciated.  You are called to serve as a leader. 

Disciple your people.  Teach your people.  Train your people.  Do all so that your people will mature in perfection towards the  perfect man that they are destined to become in His name.  It is part of your calling.

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