Sometimes leading volunteers in our womens ministry can be rewarding and challenging at the same time. Todays post is written by experienced leader Simone Monroe, Director of Womens Ministries at Lake Pointe Church in Dallas, Texas. You will be encouraged to serve these leaders well even as they serve the ministry you oversee.
How well I remember one of the best reads as I began ministry as a young woman. It was a book on the power and potential of God unleashed in our lives. The book was Your God is Too Small by J. B. Phillips and is considered a classic today. He spoke about how we box God in and think of Him in terms that limit His power and abilities. When we allow God to have total freedom to move in our life, to do what He wants in the way He wants with our lives, then and only then are we allowing God to be God. It is hands off if we want to see Him work at His optimum!
As a leader, I have remembered this principle and tried to put it into practice over the years with those whom I lead. One of the most difficult places to do this is with volunteers. People often disappoint us in life and in ministry. We often limit the people we are serving with and trying to develop into leaders because of past experiences that have left us with disappointment, fear of failure, or a distrust of turning things over to others.
As leaders we must allow people to make mistakes, just as we have done, and give them opportunities for growth. By applying this principle of not limiting God we can allow others to make their own mistakes and yet not feel like total failures or like they have no place in ministry. Oh, I agree that sometimes there women we encounter that do not have any sense of responsibility for things they have volunteered to do. But I am not talking about that situation. I am talking about the normal volunteer who is in the learning process.
So, when dealing with volunteers, remember the following:
· The value of the contribution must be considered in light of the capabilities of the volunteer. Allow them to make mistakes. Help them with grace to learn from them. Remember you have made plenty of them.
· Each person is one of a kind. There are no duplicates.
· Pay attention to the intent, motives and progress of the volunteer. If the persons heart is in the right place then the necessary skills and capabilities can likely be developed.
· Motivated, conscientious, sincere, committed volunteers will likely serve and deliver far more than the talented, indifferent natural stars.
· Always treat people the way you would wish to be treated in the same situation. (The Golden Rule) This helps the volunteer to understand they are (1) inherently valuable (spiritual) beings, (2)and unique creations designed with a purpose no matter how seemingly imperfect and unworthy in their humanity.
· The way you treat others becomes self-fulfilling. You will usually find what you look for in others. They will live up or down to your expectations. The results can be even more valuable than gold.
Wise leaders understand the power of small things in the hands of a Great God!
"True leaders focus on the hearts of followers and recognize that small contributions made with sincerity can form the foundation for large successes." -Charles Manz
Simone Monroe, as well as serving as Director of Womens Ministries at Lake Pointe Church in Dallas, Texas, is a Global Strategist for ProvenWay Ministries, and LifeWay Ministry Multiplier. As a speaker, conference leader, and freelance writer, she is also a member of the Association of Womens Ministry Professionals. Simone has earned a Masters degree in Christian Leadership and a Certificate in Womens Leadership from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. Simones passion is teaching and developing women to fulfill their God-given potential. She enjoys presenting God’s Word in a fresh and relevant way in order to encourage growth in the lives of her listeners. Her two sons, their wives, and her five grandchildren are the light of her life.