How Do I Get the Most Out Of Volunteering?

church ministry opportunity
Enjoying Church Ministry

 

Read These 5 Suggestions Before Volunteering

Jay Martinez wrote a great piece about millennials being ready to make a difference.   Check it out here. He pointed out that millennials are willing to step up when the church invests in them.  Are you ready?

The Good News

So you might have been approached by someone in the church asking to volunteer or help out in some capacity.  Chances are you’re feeling excited and believe you’re ready to make the jump and volunteer.

Congrats!  Let me share 5 suggestions that will allow you to enjoy ministry to its fullest and at the same time prevent you from experiencing burning out.   Yes,  volunteers will at some point feel overwhelmed and burned out.

Your volunteering metamorphosis will unfold in the following pattern.  The person who asked you to volunteer will be very helpful in providing direction and guidance.  After a while you will begin to wonder, “Where is all the help!”  The person who asked you to volunteer will have probably been burned out themselves.   The freshly recruited volunteer, YOU, is the getaway opportunity they saw and took.  Remember this is not a reflection on their spiritual maturity so don’t be to harsh when left alone wondering where to go now.

Here are 5 Suggestions You Can Start to Practice Before Volunteering

 

1. Take your time

I’m often in awe of those individuals that join a church and can immediately plug in to a ministry and they excel at it!  Others will jump into as many opportunities as asked to and unfortunately for both, the church and the volunteer, they will slowly start to fade.  They will start to be absentee in their ministry and eventually their church attendance will suffer.  The church body would rather see you in the seats, listening and growing, rather than not attending at all.   On the flip side, if you have been in church for several years you’ve had plenty of time 🙂

2. Don’t accept every request

Don’t rush into everything and anything that you are asked to do.  Remember, you have an idea of what needs your time and by taking extra opportunities you will be stretched too thin.  Out of all your priorities one will suffer and more often the ministry will be left unattended.  This will be a good time to evaluate your priorities and shed those time-consuming affairs.  Those that don’t add any value.

3.  Ask for Help

When suddenly you are left alone with a roomful of loving kiddos you need to ask for help.  Don’t let this fester and bring it to the attention of your ministry leaders.  The last thing any church parents want is the kid’s ministry to become a Sunday daycare.

4.  Set boundaries

Not sure about your spiritual gifts?   Churches offer spiritual gifts sessions and those are great.  I believe in application as well and you might want to try out different opportunities to explore those gifts.  If you decide to do this I strongly encourage you to set boundaries.  For example you can say, “ I plan to serve in this capacity for 6 months” or “ I can only serve 1 Sunday a month”, etc.  You set the time-frame.  This will allow the seeker to plan accordingly.

5. It’s ok to say no

Hear me on this- You can say no and it is perfectly fine!  I understand you don’t like to disappoint but master this pointer and you’ll be spectacular .   No one will be offended if you say no.  They will respect that you value your time and theirs.  You may not be ready and it’s ok to voice that.  Leave yourself an opening if that is an area that interests you.

Summary of the 5 Suggestions I shared for a successful volunteer career

  1. Take your time
  2.  Don’t accept every request
  3.  Ask for Help
  4.  Set Boundaries
  5. It’s Ok to say No

These suggestions came at my expense and at the disappointment of others.  I felt obligated to help out as much as possible and the time requirements took their toll on me.  It wasn’t until later in my spiritual walk that I learned how to kindly and respectfully decline volunteer opportunities.  I shared the suggestions to encourage you to get involve and go about it in a strategic manner.

I’ll leave you with the following comment:

Be a specialist and not a generalist.  Be spectacular and caring in one ministry rather than general and unspectacular in many.

 

One Mistake I Was Doing That Kept Me From Experiencing Church

One Mistake

 

Would you agree that attending church on a consistent basis is getting harder and harder to do?  You are not alone!  Jess and I struggled with this too.  

It should come as no surprise that the number of church attenders has been on a steady decrease.  A recent study concluded that 59 percent of Millennials are leaving the church.  That statistic is an eye-opener!

So how did we manage to avoid being one of the 59 percenters that leave church?  Not only did we avoid becoming a stat but become more involved?

Jess and I had been dating for several years now and were close to marriage.  Before finding a home church, where we invested 11 wonderful years, we visited several churches.  While those churches had sound biblical teaching and amazing worship we failed to make a connection.  We had to take a hard look at ourselves and ask the honest question, “what gives and what’s missing?

   Jess and I were the missing.  

We were physically and spiritually present and our desire to connect with other well-meaning members was not.  Jess and I came to the realization that in order for us to fully embrace the Christian walk as intended we would have to allow ourselves to be embraced.  There were older couples that invited us to dinner and we turned down and younger couples we distanced ourselves from.  They all were wonderful people but we did not connect with them.

The Ugly Mistake Revealed

We decided that we would get involved.  The first time it was gut wrenching as we had to learn to be open and vulnerable.  This was the mistake we were making…not being open and vulnerable.  This would mean stepping out of our comfort zone and investing in relationships.  It was not easy but is very doable.  We learned to let our guard down, which included inviting people to lunch or going to lunch when asked.  Yes, those moments were AWKARD but manageable.  Here’s a tip- find common ground you can all discuss.  Use the message series as a starting point or the kids recent activities.

How Liberating!

Had we learned to be open and vulnerable at an early stage our story would have been different and that’s ok! We are both fine with the outcome.  😃

It is when one decides to be open, transparent, and vulnerable that we can make meaningful connections.   BTW this also works in any relationships and career.

You too can decide to no longer be MIA…Ready to make an impact?!    

 

That’s not all  —–>  Check out the Millennial Moment of the month.  This month’s Millennial has a servant’s heart!  He has lead and organized mission trips to New Mexico, Houston, TX, Texas/Mexico Border.

The Church Expects Nothing from You and 2 Ways to Change That

Why does the Church expect Nothing from Millennials?

Church expects nothing
Church Expectation of Millennials

Millennials, have you wondered what your local church expects from you?   There are no easy words to say this but…NOTHING.

Nothing…yes, that’s right!

I’m confident in stating that fact because society has placed a bad stigma on Millennials.  This stigma concludes that Millennials demand hand-outs or freebies, participation trophies, and their commitment is nonexistent.  This list can continue for many characters. Millennials have been ran through the wringer by previous generations, media, and anyone else with a voice.

Interested in overcoming this stigma?  Let’s see how this can be done.

Work unto The Lord

Remember, whatever you do do it as if working onto the Lord, with all your heart, and know that your reward is a heavenly one.  This is a summary of Colossians 3:23-24.  Do not be disheartened if your work is not noticed.  Learn to shift your focus from one of “me” to your neighbor.  Love your neighbor as yourself. This means looking beyond your needs and focusing on the needs of your neighbor or simply stated your church.

Embrace the Passion

There is no denying that Millennials are passionate!  You’ve probably seen Youtube videos of Cowboy fans, Spurs fan or any other sport where people take a loss seriously.  And should they win they will be the first ones to let you know!   Humans are wired to demonstrate praise and express emotions (without sinning) and being able to keep them in check is important.  Embrace your passion to lead;

  • a study group
  • volunteer
  • to show up

The last point is big.  Show up.  When like-minded Millennials see you make an effort this encourages them and lets them know they can accomplish this.  After all, you probably had similar events happening over the weekend.

As Sunday approaches I hope you consider the points I listed.  Whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men. Col 3:23-24.  And the passion that drives you let’s turn that into tangible results.