The Equipper Newsletter
December 1, 2008
Churches Equipping Saints for Service

 Hungry for Relationships:
 Building Relationships While Serving
 by Karen Kogler
It's no secret: people need relationships with other people. Sociologists, psychologists and theologians agree that they always have and always will. The need has become acute as hectic schedules, geographic mobility, consumerism and affluence pull us apart from others. Ironically, our increased communication options (email, cell phones, texting, etc.) decrease "face time." The result: people who are hungry for relationships.
Pastor Mark Schulz of Trinity Lutheran, Lisle, reminded me of this reality at a recent regional workshop on small group ministry. Small groups are an excellent tool for connecting people to each other and to the One relationship that matters eternally.
Serving together can do the same. For those reluctant to give small groups a try, those who see them as too 'touchy-feely,' ministry activities can be an effective door into relationships with other people and their Lord. If we're intentional.

Look at your church

If you're a pastor, look at a list of ministries in your church. In what percentage of them do people serve alone? In strong teams? Is there a correlation between serving alone or together, and ministries that are thriving/declining?
If you lead a ministry, how much personal interaction is there among people in your ministry? How much caring and sharing? Are new relationships being formed?

If you're a volunteer in a ministry, do you try to work alone or with others? When someone new joins your ministry group, do you make a point to get to know them, make them feel welcome, and help them? (Click here to continue.)
Click here for rest of article, including these sections:
Also available is a Building Relationships While Serving worksheet with evaluation questions and suggestions for improvement.

P.S. If the above links don't work, try again later. I've been having increasing problems with my website hosting company.

 Service and Proclamation
  1. Churches are increasingly moving volunteers into the community as a means of opening ears to the Gospel. Trinity Lutheran in Lisle, Illinois, describes their monthly "We Serve" on their website.Their efforts were highlighted in a local paper. (Website version of article no longer available.) 
  2. On a bigger scale, read Servant Evangelism, a Christianity Today article, to see how an "odd combination" of leaders involved 25,000 volunteers in a summer Season of Service in Portland, Oregon.
 More good stuff from the web
  1. The Quote Garden has a nice list of quotations regarding volunteers -- very useful for volunteer appreciation and affirmation!
  2. Would your church volunteers ‘cheat’ on you?  This very interesting post, “Can you cheat on your church?” leads to some other links you might want to read to get the full picture. but the whole conversation brings up real and fascinating things to think about. Might some of my church volunteers be drawn to other churches by how volunteers are treated there? Share some of this with your church leaders and have an honest discussion of what volunteers might like, and might dislike, about serving at your church; and what you can do about it.
In this issue:


The Equipper Newsletter published monthly by
Karen Kogler, Equipper Church Volunteerism Resources