The Equipper Newsletter
April 1, 2010
Churches Equipping Saints for Service

 Inviting EVERYONE to Serve
In survey after survey, the primary reason people give for volunteering is "because I was asked." So how are we asking? How are we inviting the people in our church to serve?

Our frequent "help wanted" announcements reach a few people - those who are extremely compassionate, or who can't say no, or, hopefully and especially, those who have been prepared by God for that particular opportunity.

But how do we invite everyone to serve? And since invitations should be personal, how do we invite EVERYONE in a personal way? Here's how we did it recently in my congregation, St. Peter Lutheran, Arlington Heights, Illinois.

  1. We started by thinking of the ending. We asked ourselves, "What if it works?" If people respond to the invitation, we need to personally respond to their response! When someone decides to serve, they often need help finding the right ministry fit and getting started in that ministry. We didn't invite everyone to serve until we had the human resources to do both the inviting and the follow-up well, two full years after I began serving my church as Director of Volunteer Equipping.

  2. As part of a four-week emphasis, we asked for a personal commitment and promised personal follow-up.
    1. We told people up front we'd be inviting them, at the end of the four weeks, to bring a Ministry Commitment form to the front of the church, during worship, as an offering of time and talent to their Lord.
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 Good Stuff on the Web
  • 21 Ways Volunteers Can Help with your Website -- Most churches won't have a staff person for website development, despite the intro to this blog. But if a volunteer takes responsibility for your website, encourage them to involve others in these ways. Having someone check your site frequently for broken links or outdated info is a crucial but often overlooked task. 
  • Five Signs You are Recruiting the Wrong Volunteers -- But as you read this, keep in mind that if someone is 'wrong' for 'your' ministry, you or someone else needs to help them find the right place for them. "The eye cannot say to the hand, 'I have no need of you.'" 1 Cor. 12:21
  • Spiritual Leadership Profile - This interesting diagram by Bradley Moore, a blogger on the connection of faith and work life, comes from charting answers to two questions. I wouldn't use the diagram to "pigeon hole" people, and I'd expand it to serving in all of life, but it would start interesting discussions, particularly on why we either aren't serving others, or why we aren't feeling calm, confident and connected when we do.
  • Millennials -- "For Millennials, helping others in need is a priority." This article talks about engaging this energetic generation in service. 

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