The Equipper Newsletter
November 2, 2009
Churches Equipping Saints for Service

 How to Assess & Improve Church Volunteerism
1. How to Assess Church Volunteerism
by Karen Kogler
When you want to improve, you measure. You see where you're at, decide where you want to be, take steps to get there, and track your results. You use the bathroom scale to see if the diet is working, the grades on tests to see if you're studying enough, and the balance in the savings account to see if you'll be able to go to that special vacation destination.

If volunteerism at your church isn't where you want it to be -- if a few people are doing all the work and getting burned out, if everyone's tired of the same pleas for help in the bulletin week after week - it can be hard to know where to start. One solution is to push people harder to volunteer, to develop more subtle ways to guilt, pressure, or argue people into doing what you want them to do. Trouble is, we know that's not the right thing to do and it just plain doesn't work.  Continue this article.

2. How to Improve Volunteerism at Your Church 
by Karen Kogler
Do you agree?
  1. Virtually all church leaders want to improve volunteerism at their church.
  2. Virtually all church leaders do little or nothing to improve volunteerism at their church.
Perhaps those statements are a bit strong, but they are true in my experience. Improving volunteerism is not easy; it's hard work with many challenges. But lack of ideas on how to go about it is perhaps the greatest hurdle. Once there is knowledge, with a vision for a preferred future and strategies for getting there, the hard work is rewarded and the challenges made easier by the progress that is experienced.
The first and most important step is determining where you are headed. 
  Reader Response
Last month's newsletter included questions about the view that the giving of time can be seen as a replacement for the giving of money. (Read the full discussion.)
Reader Leslie from St. Louis responded. Her comments included:
". . . I get very frustrated when Christians view tithing as a balance sheet: 'If I give time I don't have to give money.' Then the question comes, 'My time is more valuable because I am a professional so therefore I can give less of my time because it is worth more on the open market,' etc. . . . My understanding or feeling is that it ALL comes from God. Give back 10% of everything you have, time, money, talents, etc. And let us not forget that a "tithe" is where we are to begin giving back, not the ultimate goal. In our family we also like to look at what we are spending on other things.  In other words if 10% of my paycheck is $200 yet I am spending $300 on theater tickets and dinner, where are my priorities? Tithing is about a response to what God does for us. It is not about a law or edict that we must meet. (Read her full comments.)

Contribute your thoughts to the discussion.
Ask a question of your own.
Read other questions and responses

Thanks, Leslie, for joining the discussion. Leslie is part of an exciting volunteerism venture in the St. Louis area, Send Me St. Louis.

 Volunteerism in the News
A county sheriff, who also is an ordained Southern Baptist minister, has persuaded two Missouri governors, one a Democrat and one a Republican, "to follow his advice and organize religious groups in partnership with government to prepare for calamity." Read about it here.
To think about:
As we serve in Jesus' name, what community partnerships might we build?
Are there people in your church who are leaders in city, county or state offices, or in community organizations? Or who know these leaders?
A great devotion, for you and for people you know: "Overloaded."

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