Resource, Article

Here are some suggestions for removing volunteers who aren’t working out.

May 31, 2017 0 0 comments
Blog

Here are 10 suggestions for recognizing your volunteers and showing them your appreciation.

April 4, 2017 1 1 comments
Blog

Faith formation is an elusive term. How do we know if faith is being formed in children, teens, and adults, and does faith look the same for everyone?

March 17, 2017 1 0 comments
Resource, Article

 A great article from "Faith and Leadership" came out today with some good suggestions for building an effective team. These suggestions may be helpful in your church council.

January 25, 2017 1 0 comments
Blog

Curious what the Connections Project teams have learned after just six months of talking to congregations and individuals about ministry resources? Keep reading to find out.  

January 9, 2017 1 0 comments
Blog

Meet the three regional teams who are working with congregations in Southern California, Southern Ontario, and the US Midwest! 

January 3, 2017 1 0 comments
Resource, Article

Attached you will find a document with lots of ideas on how to increase active engagement in your church's ministries. Take a look!

January 1, 2017 0 0 comments
Resource, Article

Leading volunteers to use their energy and gifts to serve the local church can be a tremendously rewarding experience. But leadership always brings its challenges. The following articles may be able to assist you in your leadership role.

January 1, 2017 0 0 comments
Resource, Article

Disengaging a volunteer can be a delicate and challenging situation for ministry leaders, but the following articles may give you some guidelines and advice.

January 1, 2017 0 0 comments
Resource

In order to assist you in developing an effective Volunteer Engagement Strategy, ServiceLink has prepared the attached document outlining 13 Tips for Engaging God's People in Ministry.

January 1, 2017 0 0 comments
Resource, Procedure

Attached is a Ministry Evaluation form tool that was developed by one church to assist in evaluating their ministry programs by gathering feedback from volunteer ministry leaders.

January 1, 2017 0 1 comments
Resource, Job Description

ServiceLink has prepared a series of downloadable documents that can assist you in creating job descriptions for a variety of volunteer ministry positions, and that meet the needs and realities of your congregation.

January 1, 2017 0 0 comments
Resource, Procedure

The articles linked below can provide you with ideas and information for recruiting volunteers to serve in the ministries of your congregation.

January 1, 2017 0 0 comments
Resource, Procedure

The articles linked below can provide you with ideas and information for the orientation and training of your church’s volunteers.

January 1, 2017 0 0 comments
Resource, Procedure

The articles linked below can provide you with ideas and information for creating a more rewarding environment for your church’s volunteers.

January 1, 2017 0 0 comments
Resource

To assist your congregation with strategizing and training for effective volunteer engagement, ServiceLink has prepared this series of articles exploring various aspects of volunteer engagement.

January 1, 2017 0 0 comments
Blog

For the next two and a half years, ministry leaders in three regions of the CRC will be helping congregational leaders explore new ways to connect with resources for ministry as part of the CRC’s Connections Project

December 20, 2016 0 0 comments
Resource

I recently wrote this text to bless our children's ministry leaders and volunteers after their fall informational meeting. Feel free to use and adapt for your own fall ministries.

September 19, 2016 0 0 comments
Discussion Topic

There is a recent discussion over in the Church Administration forum about Ministry Volunteer Standards and Covenant that might be of interest. I thought there might be some who follow this forum who maybe able to contribute to the conversation.

November 4, 2011 0 0 comments
Discussion Topic

I know one thing this site offers is a Spiritual Gifts inventory, as another church that is a member let me take the test to see what it was like, but it appears that is the tip of the iceberg.

Has anyone has used thier forms, applications or other resources?

What is great (or not...

October 28, 2011 0 0 comments
Discussion Topic

Over in the Deacon's forum, someone is looking for advice about Spiritual Gifts surveys, and I know some Ministry Coordinators might have some helpful tips.

Find that question posted here: Deacons > Forum > Gift Surveys

 

September 6, 2011 0 0 comments
Discussion Topic

Lately, I've been wondering if the volunteers at church are too busy. What do I mean by that? Well, we are a smaller church, which means that many, many people are on the list to do many, many different things. It would not be uncommon for someone to serve in nursery one week, serve coffee and...

August 16, 2011 0 2 comments
Q&A

What does your church do to thank those who serve each year in ministry?

Do you have an event? If you have an event to thank volunteers, who helps with it so the volunteers can just enjoy it?

Do you say thanks in worship?

Write a personal note?

I am really interested in...

July 4, 2011 0 4 comments
Q&A

Our church is thinking more about gifts-based ministry (helping people discover the gifts God has blessed them with and how best to serve the church and others) rather than needs-based ministry ("we need 3 volunteers for the nursery and 24 dozen cookies for the ladies tea.")

Who has seen...

May 16, 2011 0 8 comments

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I was the Ministry Coordinator at CrossRoads when this was developed, and while I don't remember specifics of the results, I thought it was a great tool that ended up providing really helpful feedback. I'm glad to see that it's being shared for others.

I love this list! Every single suggestion is practical and useful. What a huge difference these small things can make to a volunteer! 

Hi Rebecca,

Two points to your statement. 1) You mentioned that there is importance of having "a" Sabbath day of rest. Do we have "any" day as our Sabbath day of rest, or did God command "the" Sabbath day ?   2) What did Jesus do on the Sabbath day? The Word of God tells us that Jesus preached, healed, walking and talking with His disciples on the Sabbath day. Thus Jesus was busy on the Sabbath day doing the work of His Father.  

This sounds like our church, too, for sure! I myself am an elder besides being a volunteer for sound booth/Power Point duties, coffee, and so on. Not only do we have people on the schedule every week or nearly so, it's very common for people to be on the schedule for more than one "job" on the same Sunday -- kind of running from one thing to another.

Your idea of having people do more of one thing has merit, BUT, there's a downside, too, especially depending on whether there are others doing that same thing. For example, I enjoy doing Power Point duty and at one point said I'd just go ahead and do it every Sunday. Turns out that was not such a good idea because then when I was out of town or couldn't make it to church, no one else had done it in a long time. It is better to have at least a couple/few who take turns so everyone stays up to date on how to do the task, at least when it's one like this, that requires some technical capabilities.

I don't know a good solution. My mind goes more toward looking closely at all the various volunteer jobs there are, and see whether there's a way to pare back without sacrificing the core services of the church.

Hi John,

I read with interest your reply regarding gift based ministry.  Our church is just beginning this process as well.  I am in a new church home and have been asked to take the lead on this.  We have completed one gifts class at the present time.  I am looking for a good database to house, track and utilize the information from the gifts inventory forms.  Our church database has minimal capabilities in this area.  It would be most helpful if the gifts database could house all types of membership info as well so that we can have a well rounded picture of our people and most effectively help to guide them into the ministries coinciding with their gifts, talents, and abilities.  Would you by chance have a recommendation for a good database?

Thanks.

Gail

Carol, thanks for the ideas! The need to thank volunteers never changes, and it's always appreciated!

Hi Rebecca,

I just saw this post today although you inquired quite some time ago. I thought I would respond anyway - not sure if you're still looking for ideas.

Thanking volunteers is vitally important to the retention of all those involved in your church's ministry programs. What Steve wrote about training seminars is also part of that - recognizing that although people are willing to serve, they also need to be empowered in their roles. So that's one aspect part of the volunteer engagement cycle.
In more concrete ways, one thing we've started in our church is a card ministry - recognizing and thanking people for their various roles - and not just at the end of the church season.
* Last year we had a very difficult congregational meeting in which our Chair of Council did an excellent job in facilitating. After the meeting a card was sent to him acknowledging his contributions and how he handled what at times were extremely difficult discussions.
* After our Stewardship team provided some excellent leadership to our congregation over a number of months, a card was sent to the team in recognition of all that they contributed to a successful campaign.
* At the beginning of the church season, cards were sent to all those involved in some aspect of ministry to our children and young people - thanking them for taking on the responsibilities for a new church season and letting them know we as a congregation appreciated their commitment to share themselves and their faith with our kids.

Another way to thank your volunteers is to invest in their lives as much as possible - meet with them one on one, take them out for a coffee and chat and spend time listening to what's happening with them on a personal level and asking how you can assist them to make their jobs easier. Invest in them, just as they are investing themselves in ministry.
As for saying thanks in worship - yes, absolutely you can (and should) do that. But be sensitive to those who don't like to be centered out in public. It might be an idea at the end of a church season, to publicly acknowlege volunteers and then to celebrate together with the rest of the congregation with special treats or a luncheon after the worship service where members of the congregation can thank volunteers on a more personal level.
There are many other ways you can thank volunteers - if you're still looking for ideas and any other resources on volunteer engagement, feel free to contact me at ServiceLink  csybenga@crcna.org or 800-730-3490

This is not an easy task, but it is necessary at times. First, each ministry should have stated goals that are in writing. Some ministries die out and are ineffective. Rerduce number of ministries by combining where possible. Work with those who are passionate about a ministry by helping them to state attainable goals. Then give six months or so to pray diligently for that ministry and with those involved in it. After the specified time period meet with the ministry leaders and discuss the reaslities of where they are at vs. stated (attainable) goals. When the handwriting is on  the wall, most are willing to make the changes necessary or discontinue the ministry. Avoid long term committees and go for task oriented  committees. When the task is complete, their time and resources are not wasted on monthly meetings that people lose interest in. Most people are more willing to serve when they feel needed and see goals being accomplished. Encouraging volunteers regularly and allowing as much freedom as possible in their task is usually quite beneficial for all concerned. Prayer is the key to discernment. Hope that is helpful, but feel free to ask more questions.
 

Rebecca, if you’re still looking for ideas there’s a series that my last church used called Network: The Right People…in the Right Places…for the Right Reasons. We did it as part of an adult Christian education class and it was life-changing. There’s also a revised version available. Even without the DVDs the particpant's guide has got some great information.

That sounds exactly like our congregation!  Add in elder/deacon duties to that list, and for some that makes for a very rare Sunday "off."  I think smaller congregations also have a tendency to trust those who are proven 'time-givers' and ask them to do multiple things, rather than risk an unfulfilled duty on someone 'unproven.'

I think the challenge in encouraging people to focus their time-giving on areas where they're gifted is that sometimes a church may have a need and no particular person who feels gifted in that area.  Encouraging people to stretch themselves as volunteers might also help them discover a new area of passion.  At the same time, I think volunteers can quickly become overwhelmed and withdraw if they're continually asked to do something that doesn't fit well with their gifts.

If a congregation as a whole could agree on one method, I think "doing more of one and less of everything" could work  (I remember a Banner article a few years ago about a church that addressed volunteer burnout by having everyone pick one ministry to nourish themselves and one ministry to give of themselves, and call it good).  However, I think the fear is that some members will use that as excuse to not do anything, and the church will be left scrambling again.

Steve, thanks for your thoughts on this.  

I really like the idea of having seminars and intentionally investing in our leaders. I get a little squeamish at the idea of a sabbatical, because I think that too many people would say that our ministries are essential and can't be skipped. A majority of our ministries are related to youth and have a reduced schedule or are off in the summer anyway. Good to think about, though!

Rebecca,

I posted the following in the elder forum a few months ago. I think ministry leaders like to be appreciated. Besides saying thanks, I think we as a church need to do a better job offering support and training for our leaders.

 

Part of the job of elders is to encourage and support the pastor as well as the various ministries of the church. It is suggested that we give our pastors a sabbatical for a time of refreshment and study. What about the ministry leaders such as Cadet and Gems counselors, youth group leaders, Bible study leaders, Sunday School teachers, etc? In our church (approximately 150 members) many of our leaders have been leading their ministries for many years. Some of them are involved in more than one ministry. So I started thinking about offering some sort of sabbatical for them. I'm not sure yet how this might happen. My initial thoughts were to have two months of no ministry meetings, probably in April and May. Instead of their regularly scheduled meetings, we would offer a weekly seminar. At these get togethers we would bring in some guest speakers who would talk about leadership, burnout, encouragement. We could spend some time studying leaders in the Bible as well as contemporary leaders. There would also be time for discussions on how their ministry programs could improve. We could use this format or we could meet twice a month and still have the ministries meet on the other weeks. My question is, has anyone else done this? If so, can you share what you did and how it was received by the participants? Looking forward to your feedback.

Steve 

Sometimes the greatest gifts are not  talents or abilities.   Sometimes opportunities are the greatest gifts.  

 

If you are the only one who can play the piano, it is a gift.    If everyone can play the piano, you may not have the opportunity. 

Thanks for all the comments on my question, this is so encouraging!

One approach to this, and the way we are encouraging people to think about this at my church, is to be involved in two ways - through a primary ministry that uses their gifts, and through a secondary ministry where they are needed. We are also careful to remember that everyone is called to have faith, pray and evangelize even if their spiritual gifts aren't Faith, Intercession or Evangelism. We just know that those with these gifts are specially equipped, but that doesn't let the rest of us off the hook.

Here's an example I can think of. We have coffee and cookies after church each week. Certainly the gift of Hospitality would be a blessing in this ministry. However, given how many people at my church participate in this way, I would say it's almost certain that not all of them have this gift. Yet, nearly anyone is capable of bringing cookies and pouring coffee, so they may serve in this way as their secondary ministry because they are needed.

Just a thought here.   If everyone had the same "gifts"  would that mean that some needs would not be met?   Perhaps the greatest gifts are always centered around meeting the needs of others, rather than the expectation of self?  

Just a thought here.   If everyone had the same "gifts"  would that mean that some needs would not be met?   Perhaps the greatest gifts are always centered around meeting the needs of others, rather than the expectation of self?  

Hi Rebecca,

We have had a gift-based ministry in our church for more than 10 years -- and it has been fantastic for us.  We put on a Discover-Your-Spiritual-Gifts program on a regular basis and stored the results in a database.  We have also categorized all the serving positions in our church for the spiritual gifts required.  It just makes so much sense!  Putting people with the wrong gifts into a position never works out.  But putting the right gifts to work has great rewards -- the people serving are energized by their service so much that we've even been able to extend the length of service terms.

As for the transition, we brought in a consultant from Christian Reformed Home Missions to take us through the process.  Between the seminars, training and many sermons on spiritual gifts, this approach worked well for us.

Yes, it's a bunch of work -- change is always difficult -- but now our ministry feels very natural.  We couldn't imagine going back.

Encouragement and blessings to your and your congregation!

--John

Hi Rebecca,

I am so excited to hear of your desire to shift to gift-based ministry, it is one of my greatest joys and am passionate about helping people (churches) live into Christ-centered, relationship-oriented, gift-based ministry.  Our church has been moving in that diretion for a few years now and are beginning to see the fruits of that transition.  I just facilitated a workshop on the subject this past weekend.  I would love to talk more with you about it.  In the meantime I will pray joy in the journey for you.

I have had the joy of working with the folks from Church Volunteer Central for several years now and am always blessed by their commitment to not only promoting equipping values, but to living them out through the LifeServe conference and through the TeamCVC regional networks. Bottom line, you need to come to this year's event. Better yet, bring a team from your church. Take full advantage of this unique conference that will equip you to equip the saints for service! The tools you will take away with you will make all the difference in the spiritual formation of your volunteers and the impact your church can have in your community. And, by the way, you will have lots of fun in the learning!

Full disclosure up front: I'm on the LifeServe planning team.  But I still think my comment will help.  This is the best conference out there on church volunteer issues.  I firmly believe that real ministry happens when God's people jump in and allow themselves to serve where they fit best.  LifeServe helps leaders catch that vision and implement in their churches.  There's reason after reason why this is biblical, but I honestly get most excited by the amazing stories I hear about "regular" people making ministry happen.  You gotta go.  You won't regret it!

Rebecca,

LifeServe is meeting the need that most church leaders have....moving from "doing" to "equipping".  It's a conference that teaches, "no one man bands" allowed.  After being training by my denomination, and spending 25 years in church ministry, I had to learn the hard way that our call as leaders is to equip the saints.  LifeServe gives you the tools, motvation, and inspiration to make that happen.

 

Hope to see you there...

Bob D'Ambrosio

bdambrosio@group.com

You are right about what is included in most MC job descriptions. I was part of a 3 year Leadership Development Network, prior to my present position. One of the great tools we used was The Clifton Strengthfinder Resource Guide. Through a number of questions ... you find out what your strengths are. There is also a book of a similar title ... but it is at my office - so I can't give you the exact title. I found that whole process extremely helpful as well ... very inspiring. It is a great tool to use along side of any kind of spiritual gifts inventory ... especially for those who have done a number of inventories ... this gives a new dimension.

Hi Rebecca, Discover your Spiritual gifts is a excellent resource. I wish I could recommend more resources. But I would like to add after reading some your posts and comments I think you could explain the what and how of Spiritual Gifts in your own experience. Every thing that is good and what is good in us are Spiritual gift. Seeing these gifts in yourself and more importantly in others is the function of faith that the Spirit is envolved.

  Last night I told my youngest daughter that mom was having a repeat mammogram for a suspcious spot. through her tears she immediately cried out to God for a good result. Within a few moments her phone rang and it was my wife calling to tell her everything was fine. I had miss placed my phone and we don't have a land line, So my wife had to call on her cell phone. This happens to all of us in one shape or form but it's what you believe is how  we see a event or look at skills and gifts that are based in the love of God,youself or fellow beliievers.

 Thanks Rebecca for listening,

Ken

I like to thank those who responded to my post.

It has been very helpful. I did receive some detailed job descriptions and hope to use the information received in finding the Ministry Coordinator God has intended for us.

 

Henk tenOever

Sunday can be  one of the busiest days of my week ...  and yet at the same time you have everyone under one roof for announcements or handing out material etc. You do get the chance to catch up with lots of folks, which is also important. It ends up being a number of hours of intense , focused work and I am toast when I get back home.

Signed ~ Ontario MC and lovin' it ! ~

Good morning Henk ... my name is Linda Dykstra and I am the ministries coordinator at Immanuel CRC in Caledon/Brampton. In April, I will be in this full time position for 1 year. Immanuel is a large city church with a myriad of ministries and groups. Along with my self ... there is also a worship director and office administrator. 

A ministry coordinator has their plate full and has their pulse on all that is happening in the church family. Even though I had been living in Brampton, I was attending church elsewhere. It did mean that I knew the city and some of the congregational members. But my home church was quite a bit smaller than Immanuel. So there was a bit of culture shock initially and it was quite a large learning curve - at times overwhelming. Erick Schuringa is the pastor and we work extremely well together. Our skills and passions were quite complimentary. My strengths tend to be his weak points and vice-versa. 

My job description was 3 pages in length which is enough to scare anyone off. But the HR folks admitted that they wanted to try and cover everything rather than leave something out. It is very comprehensive. I think that a ministry coordinator helps the ministries move along the same path. An example would be the upcoming weeks of Lent where the entire church will focus on prayer. Part of my responsibility is to ensure that all the different ministries have the tools and information that they may need. Each ministry will decide what activity they will do but I offer some suggestions and all will be focussed on prayer.

This is awesome in its' self to have everyone on the same page ... from our nursery right up to our seniors. There is great power in that!!

I love my work and my mind,heart and soul have been stretched ... the learning and growing never stops. Because the events surrounding my interview and hiring , I know that this is where God has called me to serve despite the 3 page job description :).

I hope this has been helpful for you. Please feel free to contact me if you have any more questions.

 

Blessings to you as you search for the right match.

~Grace and Peace ~

Linda Dykstra

ldykstra56@gmail.com

905-845-1589 

 

I

I'm happy to share my job description if that's helpful to anyone, although it would be easiest to send it by e-mail attachment. Henk, I already sent you a note with my email address, but anyone else can contact me through a private message with their email address if they'd like it.

I've only been a Ministry Coordinator for 6 months and it's not only a new job for me, but for the church as well. I think the details of the work is going to vary a lot depending on the culture and mission of any particular church. Also, my impression is that the job can change over time. In other words, even if the "big picture" goals are the same, the way in which those are reached will change. 

Hi All,

We are hopefully getting a Ministry Coordinator soon at our church.

I would be interested in reading about your job descriptions if you already are a M.C.

How long have you been a M.C. and what has your experience been being a M.C.?

 

Henk

Amen Randy, we should evaluate worship structure with peace and rest in mind. You can connect with the Spirit when your quiet rested.

Pastors certainly don't do much resting on Sundays, and often we find it challenging to make work of resting, so to speak, even though the spiritual practice of sabbath is essential for us as persons, spouses, parents, and pastors.

I'm the Ministry Coordinator at Crossroads CRC in San Marcos, CA as of 9/1/10. Would love to connect with some of you and  am happy to be a resource as I learn more myself.

I am the Director of Equipping Ministries at Rosewood Church, in Bellflower, CA. I don't know if that is similar or different to a MC. But, it is a great job!

Good morning all ... this is my 4th day as a Ministry Coordinator in Immanuel CRC in Brampton. I will so be using this site for help and suggestions. This is a new position here and the learning curve will be great for everyone.
My hope too is that at the Day of Encouragement (the fall) they will include workshops for us as the number of m.c.'s is growing.
Grace and Peace to all of you in your work!!
Linda Dykstra

Greetings, I am Director of Ministries, and decided that it was time to get involved with this blog so I could connect with others on ideas. Glad to hear there are others out there. Have a good day. Carole Pettijohn

Hi, I'm MC at First CRC in Edmonton. I agree, same title doesn't mean same job description however it would still be great to connect. One of my roles is to connect and integrate the ministries of the church. This is a challenge because this is a new concept for people and requires a change in thinking. Our present governance structure is also not effective in bringing together ministries so I'm working with council to make some changes. How about the rest of you? What are the rewards and challenges of your work?

I'm Ministries Coordinator in Brockville and I think it would be great to connect, to share and support one another!
Jennifer

I'm one at Willowdale CRC in Toronto. Same title probably does not mean the same job description, but it could still be good to connect.

Susanne

Don't know if this is helpful, Ed, but Living Hope CRC in Peterborough, ON has a Ministry Coordinator...you can look up contact info, I think--you should be good at that! ;-)

Also, our church (Zion CRC, Oshawa, ON) is seriously considering hiring a ministry coordinator. I don't know if you'd be comfortable with this, but would there be any way I could get a hold of your job description--might help us in coming up with ours...

Thanks Ed. Blessings,

Dan. (Pastor @ Zion)

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