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Volunteer Management: 7 Jesus-Style Tips for Training and Leadership

volunteer management

Here’s how to do volunteer management following Jesus’ footsteps, regardless of budget. “All power has been given to me in heaven and earth. Therefore go and fill vacant volunteer slots…”

Whoa! Wait a minute! Is that what we Christian educators are called to do in terms of volunteer management and leadership?

The last time we read the Great Commission, it said: “Make disciples as you go throughout the world (as surely you will) by baptizing (the end product of evangelization leading to conversion) and teaching them to obey God (continuing to do what you have done)” (Matthew 28:19-20, paraphrased).

The tyranny of recruiting to fill holes often makes us forget that ministry is about relationships. But when we focus on relationships, as Christ did, we live out the discipleship approach to volunteer management. Above all, this focus on relationships can have long-lasting results. It leads to changed lives of children, parents, and staff members.

Robin was a mother of two preschoolers who felt she “should” help with Sunday school. Throughout several years and many team meetings, Robin blossomed. She progressed from a leader to director and finally a staff member. When her family relocated, she became the preschool director at their new church.

Michael and Mark were also discipled using this model. As a result, both became interested in helping at VBS. Today they’re both pursuing careers working with children.

The discipleship approach to volunteer management helps educators change children’s lives. How? By focusing on the spiritual health and personal fulfillment of leaders and teachers. How can you transform your own children’s ministry? How can you move from a fill-vacant-slots approach to the discipleship approach to volunteer management? Read on for details.

Follow these 7 volunteer management tips for maximum impact:

1. Train a few leaders who will train others.

Jesus trained 12 disciples who trained others who trained others. And, well, you know the story. They changed the world! Designate overseers for specific areas of your ministry, whether paid or unpaid.

In our church, we have these overseers:

  • Early Childhood Directors and Elementary Directors train lead teachers who train classroom teachers.
  • The Director of Staff Development oversees a team of phone recruiters and another team of trainers.
  • The Family Life Center Director disciples room leaders and coordinators in our preschool and child care center.
  • The Program Director handles special projects and creative support ministries. This director leads teams that handle various tasks. Those include curriculum management, resources, follow-up, children’s worship, missions training, and room decoration.
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