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Developing Volunteers Into Leaders

Joe McAlpine
Joe McAlpine Friday April 15, 2016
<? echo $type; ?> Developing Volunteers Into Leaders


“A noble leader answers not to the trumpet calls of self promotion, but to the hushed whispers of necessity.” ― Mollie Marti

I remember way back when I thought I could do it all myself. Sure, there was a ton of work leading my first children’s ministry. We had about 75 kids and 20 volunteers. I was busy but it was manageable. When we grew to 100 kids and still only had 20 volunteers I felt pretty stretched though. It was then that I learned that if I wanted to lead a successful and growing ministry to children and their families that I absolutely had to have a strong volunteer team that was equipped and encouraged to lead.

God wants us to be noble leaders and, like the quote says above, the nobility of true leadership does not include self promotion. That basically means that as leaders in the church we are to constantly be giving away the most basic thing that we posses: our leadership platform. When a leader encourages and equips their volunteer team to lead in their place amazing things can happen. So how do you inspire passion and drive in your team so that they pick up the torch and lead the charge? Well, I am glad you asked!

  • Lead from vision. The biggest thing you can do to build leaders on your team is to give them the vision. Scripture says that where there is no vision the people perish . . . that means where there IS vision the people will flourish.
  • Have values that the team remembers. If you have a million values and they are long and wordy I can guarantee you that your team won’t use them to grow in their volunteer role. If your volunteers aren’t using your values to grow then they aren’t developing into leaders. Make them simple and live by them! The values in my children’s ministry are Fun, Learning, Relationships and Innovation.
  • Give them the good stuff. If you don’t give your volunteers the good opportunities they will never grow as leaders. Give them the microphone, let them lead the big event, let them in on navigational discussions. When volunteers get good opportunities to lead they will lead!
  • Don’t micromanage . . . ever . . . just don’t. Micromanaging is never good. Leaders that micromanage lead from a place of weakness and insecurity. Let your volunteers soar. It is okay if your fingerprint isn’t on it.

When your volunteers are encouraged and equipped to lead you will have opportunities to grow your ministry way farther than ever before. Take the plunge! Develop those volunteers!

Joe McAlpine has been involved in ministry for over a decade, serving in staff leadership at churches ranging in attendance from 500 to 7000. Joe currently leads the family ministry team at Mosaic Church in Wisconsin. Mosaic is a church plant that is only a year old and has a heart for discipleship. Joe is happily married to DeAnn and has four children, Elijah, Selah, David, and Elisabeth. In his spare time, you can find him hanging with the family and playing his ukulele.