Volunteerism

Whether you call it:
Volunteer Ministries
Assimilation
or Lay Mobilization

many churches today are working to better help their members use their God-given gifts in ministry.

For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands.

2 Timothy 1:6

Volunteerism

What is it and what does it include?

Whether you call it Volunteer Ministries, Assimilation, or Lay Mobilization, it all boils down to assisting believers to use their God-given gifts in service to their Lord. It Includes:

  • Helping new members, and long-time members, find a place to serve
  • Helping all members, become fully involved in the church, thus help to close the church’s back door
  • Unleashing and empowering people to discover and use the gifts and talents God gave them
  • Recruiting for the Church’s needs on the basis of finding the right person rather than simply filling slots with warm bodies
  • Trainings, supporting, and appreciating volunteers as they work

Resources for Congregations

What are we Reading These Days?

Many resources are available to help congregations improve the ways they recruit and support volunteers. Some of the most prominent books, tapes, programs, and workshops available are described here, along with sources of more information.

The Equipping Church by Sue Mallory.

Every Member in Ministry, a 45-page book by John Ed Mathison (Discipleship Resources, P.O. Box 189, Nashville, TN 37202; 615-340-7284 ), outlines a plan for asking every member to make an annual commitment to ministry; includes importance of follow up, accountability, and training.

Energize, www.energizeinc.com, 5450 Wissahickon Ave., Philadelphia, PA 19144; 800-395-9800, has volunteer management resources for both secular settings, which, in many cases are helpful to churches, as well as resources specifically designed for churches. Two recommended resources:

How to Mobilize Church Volunteers by Marlene Wilson, $11.95. Already a “classic” in church volunteerism, this 156-page book discusses how sound principles for human resource management apply in the church.

No Surprises: Controlling Risks in Volunteer Programs, a 60-page book, $9.95. Churches can and do get sued for the actions of their volunteers. This short booklet presents a good overview of the reasons for considering risk management, practical guidance for dealing with the issues, and help creating and implementing policies and procedures.