Volunteer Ministers…Yeah They’re That Special

This weekend is going to be interesting.  All of my ministry leader point people are going to be away or absent.  I was telling my wife that they all gave me plenty of heads up so I knew that they were going to be away, the only problem is unlike paid employees I can’t tell them, “No you can’t have vacation because so and so is on vacation.”  Not that I feel that way at all, we are prepared, it just takes a little extra work.
Often times I forget that my ministry leaders are volunteering their time to be on the student ministry team.  It’s actually quite humbling to think about, that they give so much of their time, energy and resources to help you in your job.  In fact if you take your ministers for granted, then they aren’t going to feel needed, and then they disappear.  So I want to take the time to list 3 facts  I need to remind myself about so I can continue to appreciate the work volunteer ministers put into our student ministry:

  • They Have Full Time Jobs – What I do is my job, granted I lead a 8th grade guys small group, but still it’s very connected with my job.  My ministers are either at home all day caring for a family or in the office working for the man and then they come in for about 3 hours a week to serve the ministry, students and God.
  • No Designated Work Space – I’ve been talking with our Children’s Director about finding a common space for our ministers to have a place to work on small group curriculum and lesson plans.  A place to receive phone calls, keep files and so on.  Plus when you give them a space to work here it helps them feel more a part of a the staff and that’s invaluable.
  • No Set Face Time – Basically, you need to meet with your ministers and I know having a designated weekly time is very challenging for them and even you.  But waiting until 5 minutes before or 5 minutes after to train them, encourage them or communicate with them seems what it is, last minute.  Even if you can only do this once a month meet with your ministry leaders, take them out for lunch, meet them for coffee, invite them over for a meal, to the office, just do it regularly and give them the attention they deserve.

Again we can’t take our volunteer ministry staff for granted.  In a way they are going above and beyond to drive home God’s vision for your ministry.  Not that it’s all about them, but they do contribute largely to many of the activities, events and relationships happening in your ministry.
What are other facts we need to recognize about our ministers in order to show them our appreciation?