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How to Grow Volunteers Into Leaders

  • Name
    Christopher Wesley
There was a point in my ministry when I had plenty of volunteers; however, the ministry wasn’t growing. The problem was a lack of leadership. People would do what I asked, but never take it to the next level. While it might be easy to blame your ministers for never taking the reigns, the truth is you might be holding them back. To take your volunteers to the next level of leadership you need to make sure you:


If you want to produce leaders, you need to provide more than just opportunities to serve. While you want learners, you need to take ownership to help them grow. That means providing opportunities like conferences or retreats. It can also be as simple as reading a book on leadership together. When your ministers see that you are investing in them, they will continue to invest in you.


Learning how to step back and delegate is hard. You will constantly fight the temptation to have things done your way or overprotect your team from failing. The reality is you need to allow your volunteers to take full responsibility and run with it. If they succeed, give them praise. If they fail, use it as a moment to coach them up and learn. When you give your ministers the opportunity to succeed or fail, you give them the ability to take the ministry to a new level. Your capacity will be increased and your ministry will be able to grow.


Your ministers are sacrificing time with family and friends to be with you. To show them gratitude, get to know them personally. That means learning the names of their kids and spouses. Acknowledge important anniversaries, birthdates and occasions. If you have a lot of ministers, find a couple of key leaders to help you shepherd the group. Make it a part of the culture where people care more about one another outside the church walls.


There is nothing more discouraging than feeling outside of the loop. If you are not constantly talking with your team and letting them know what’s going on, they will only feel discouraged. Before you make a decision that could impact the ministry, answer the question, “Who needs to know about this first?” If you are sending out a major announcement, ask others to read it over and help you with clarity. Consistent and clear communication means confident leaders who are aligned with the ministry. Not only will you have a happy team, but the ability to create momentum in your ministry.


Not only does your team need to grow professionally, but they need to grow spiritually. Make sure they are going deeper in their faith. Give them the tools that you would give your students.


On top of challenging them to go and grow deeper, help them through difficult times in their life. That might be shooting an email or praying with them. Let them know that you care about them and not just the time they can give you on a regular basis. How you treat your volunteers will determine whether or not they take it to the next level. Treat them like they are essential members of your team. Let them know that they matter and continue to help them grow. Question: How are you helping volunteers grow into leaders? You can leave a comment by clicking here.