We were talking with Chris Burch, our Axis (7th + 8th) intern this week, and were talking about the importance of volunteers. He just pulled off an incredible event for students and led the team and we were evaluating the entire thing.
One of the things that we made sure to talk about was the roles of each of our leaders. From parking/greeting to registration to s’mores and games, we covered all the roles that he had setup beforehand.
We were explaining the need to affirm people based on what they actually did. It’s helpful to not only ask someone to do something but to also notice and remember them doing it well. But in the midst of that we were questioning what else is it that we can thank them for.
We talked about the main premise of this post.
You gain credibility with families based on the people that are volunteering or leading at your events, ministry programs and small groups. Their life is just as much a testimony to your ministry as your life is. The fact that he had great moms and long time, long term volunteers leading the charge gave parents a reason to feel safe as they dropped off their children.
It made me remember the importance of surrounding yourself with the right people. Here are some other things that we talked about when it came to having the right people around.
1. Relationships build trust, but the Right Relationships build trust with others.
Parents aren’t asking the same questions about events that your students or preteens are. It’s important to know that getting the right influential parents on board gives you credibility as a leader.
2. Student Pastors are seen as irresponsible. Recruit the most responsible people you know.
One of the most important things I learned about communication and marketing in receiving my degree is about learning to identify where the “needle point” is in people’s minds and taking steps to move it where you want it to go.
I want to be seen as responsible and trustworthy to parents. It’s not enough to just have fun. I have to recruit adults that are seen as responsible and trustworthy. They move the needle from eh . . . to wow, my kids are going to have a great time and I’m not worried about if they are coming back with bumps and bruises.
*(climbing on top of soapbox) – Student pastors, please quit complaining about people viewing you incorrectly and be the person you want to be seen as and it will take care of itself – (end soapbox)*
3. Affirm the leader’s life, not just their role.
I hope that I can communicate effectively to all of my volunteers and staff people that the life they live is just as much a feather in my cap as doing their volunteer role is, if not more. Their effectiveness as moms, dads, co-workers, friends, neighbors, etc. all add oomph to our ministry.
Every event they do, they need to be reminded of that.
When we talk about becoming the best small group leader they can be, we talk about the life they live and model to their small group community.