Your Teams Are People, Too

Steve Miller, volunteer weekend leader, addressing Granger's Weekend 4 Guest Services Team

Steve Miller, volunteer weekend leader, addressing Granger's Weekend 4 Guest Services Team

We know it, no one needs to remind us. Or do we need to be reminded? The volunteers and staff who make up our ministry teams matter as much as the people we're serving. Our teams are people, too.

As I've had conversations with volunteers and staff on my various teams over the past couple weeks, I've been reminded. People matter. People need value. These people are my first "customers" or "guests".

Just this past week or so, I've been reminded - they will experience value when:

  • I ask how they're doing - specifically, remembering the life experiences they're facing (death of a family member, challenging season with kids, disappointment in ministry, etc.)
  • I listen to their take on the ministry they're leading. All of it. The highlights and the low spots. The victories and the frustrations.
  • I state expectations clearly. What's expected gets inspected.
  • Stated objectives and goals within the mission and vision define success.
  • I invite them to view the opportunity/challenge as though they are in my seat (if they're a good leader, they're already thinking about what they'd do if they were in my chair) and tell me what they'd do next.
  • I initiate conversations before they begin to question if they or their contribution matters to me or the work of Christ in the local church.

There's plenty more to valuing volunteers and staff who make up our teams. These are reminders that I've experienced personally within the past two weeks. For 99 great tips, observations and ideas for leading and serving with volunteers pick up a copy of Tim Steven's and Tony Morgan's book, Simply Strategic Volunteers. It's a must-read.

How do you value your team of staff and volunteers?