Sally has been attending your church for a few weeks and she’s beginning to really enjoy the atmosphere, people and overall feel for the church.
She continues to attend and immediately makes it known that she’s willing and desires to help serve the church — you, as the leader, are super excited — who can’t use more volunteers, right?
When talking with Sally her excitement is blooming, you see passion right in front of your eyes. As the conversation progresses, she says, “I’m willing to do whatever you guys need.”
Two days later you email, text, or call Sally — “We actually have an opening in the nursery. Would you like to fill in?”
Eager to serve and thinking you, the leader, has her best interest, Sally accept’s this volunteer position to change diapers and care for babies, all without an adequate thank you from parents later on.
While some people are gifted to work in the nursery and are needed (absolutely needed), others are poorly placed. The nursery has become the default position for volunteers to serve within our churches.
After months of serving in this role Sally discovers that something is missing. The nursery suddenly becomes mundane, she doesn’t like it, and her overall joy of one time serving in your church is slowly becoming non-exsistent.
So, what happened?
You, as the leader of your church, poorly placed a committed volunteer. As a staff pastor, I’m aware that there are hundreds — if not, thousands — of people who fit into this story.
Leaders, this is where you and I have failed. We’re so dead set on filling the status quo of volunteers in vacant ministry spots we miss out on strategically placing skillful individuals in places to flourish.
A true visionary leader places people in positions of their own strength where they will flourish. A true visionary leader has no problem identifying these people and finding a place for them to serve in large capacities. – Dr. Elsie Reyes Cook, of SUM Theological Seminary.
Let’s look at three areas, strengths and elements every church leader must posses so the next time someone in our church volunteers, we know where to place them.