People know. Yup. People know whether you have faith in them or not. Working in ministry is not just about having faith in God. It has to be about having faith in the fellow staff members and volunteers you work with on a regular basis. Many of us are responsible for helping empower these individuals to take ownership of the ministry and make a difference. They can only do that if their leader has faith in them.
Here’s what I know:
- Most people don’t have faith in themselves.
- Most people don’t have someone who has faith in them.
- Most people can tell when someone else has faith in them.
- Most people will do anything to live up to your faith in them.
Here are a few ideas that will help you have faith in the people you work with in ministry:
1. Put a 10 on their forehead.
Treat every volunteer as if they are a 10 in your book. Unconsciously, your mind will control your actions that will show this volunteer that they are worth something to the ministry. Treat them as a 10, and they’ll work hard to live up to your expectations.
2. Give your volunteers support AND direction.
As ministers, we are really good about supporting our volunteers and letting them know they are doing a great job. Sometimes we lie and tell them they are doing a great job even if they are not. Why? Because we don’t want them to leave the ministry! When we get volunteers, we often shy away from telling them exactly how to do something. In turn, they have not been given enough direction to be successful in their ministry role. We are not assertive in this matter because we don’t want to lose them. Be assertive. Be their cheerleader, but also give them all the information they need to succeed. Our volunteers want to succeed, and it is up to us to give them clear direction to help them win. Sometimes, that means walking them through a task step by step. This is less about telling them what to do and more about training them on how to do it. It is time consuming, but at some point they’ll be better then you are at the task. They’ll feel good about their ministry and you can move on to develop other areas of the ministry.
3. Help volunteers discover their strengths in ministry.
Many volunteers know what they are good at. They just don’t know how to apply that to ministry. Make the connection. Every strength that God has given people can be used for ministry in some way. As a leader, our job is to think outside the box of typical ministry roles and find ways to utilize everyone’s strengths. Are they a numbers person? Maybe the can be responsible for helping you develop your budget. Communications manager at a big tech company? Have her help in developing a ministry communication plan. Stay at home Mom who cooks the best dinners ever? Well, that’s a no brainer. Name their strengths. Develop their strengths. Apply those strengths to ministry.
Have faith! You will see an incredible difference in your ministry and volunteers.