How to Build Volunteer Teams that Expand Your Ministry

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teamsIn yesterday's post I gave 7 tips that will help optimize your small group ministry. Tip #3 was to Make identifying and recruiting a volunteer team of men and women who are passionate about small groups part of what you do all the time.

I went on to write that "some of the most enthusiastic potential volunteers are not leaders of leaders (or even leaders)." I went on to write, "if you can’t figure out how to use them, spend an afternoon creating an org chart for your ideal small group ministry."

One of the books that helped shape my thinking about ministry was The E-Myth by Michael Gerber (now available in a revised edition called The E-Myth Revisited). A business book, it is packed with takeaways that directly apply to what we do.

One of the ideas I got from The E-Myth was that the way to build the organization you'll need tomorrow is to start today by charting out the org chart for the organization you’ll need sooner than later. That’s right. Take the time to draw the org chart in the way it would be drawn if you had plenty of help…already.

And I'm not the only one who picked up on this idea. I've heard Andy Stanley talk about being inspired by The E-Myth and doing the same thing at the very beginning of North Point.

Here's how to do it:

Start by listing all of the individual tasks that you’re doing to keep things running. This list might give you a hint or two:

  • Recruiting small group leaders
  • Training new small group leaders
  • Coaching small group leaders
  • Following up on indications of interest in joining a small group (whether they’re coming in via the bulletin, phone, or in person)
  • Reviewing new small group studies and updating the recommended list
  • Training existing small group leaders
  • Planning training events to train small group leaders
  • Collecting life-change stories to pass on to your senior pastor
  • etc.

Next, begin to drop these individual roles into the format of an org chart. Keep in mind that right now your name might be in most of the boxes!  Here’s an example.

Finally, begin looking for people who would be great at the individual roles. You won’t find them all at once. You’ll find them one at a time. You’ll need a job description and a way to supervise every role. It will take some work. But when you find them, every one you find will begin to delegate away the things that could be done by volunteers or additional staff. And it will leave you doing what only you can do!

What do you think?  Have a question?  Want to argue?  You can click here to jump into the conversation.

Image by Dawn Manser

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