The Equipper Newsletter
May 9, 2011
Churches Equipping Saints for Service

 Protecting Our People and Our Ministry
 by Karen Kogler

When we hear about child sexual abuse in church settings, it turns the stomach and brings up both anger and fear. We can't imagine it happening in our church, but burying our heads in the sand isn't helpful. Churches already manage risks to protect both people and ministry. This is one more risk we can and should manage. Here's how we're expanding risk management at my church.

  1. We started by looking at reality; I shared with fellow staff and other leaders what I saw. We were doing criminal background checks, but there were no church-wide policies. In the last 5-10 years, certain practices have become standard in non-profit organizations, including churches, for screening volunteers who work with vulnerable people such as children. We needed to compare our practices to these standards. (continue)
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 Equippers in the Workplace
Highlights from a worthwhile article, "Character, Competency, Chemistry and Chicken," an interview with a fast-food company VP of human resources:
"Actually, I thought my "high calling" was to be in "full-time ministry." So when I went to Chick-fil-A, I thought I was not doing my calling. But I've now come to see that my job at Chick-fil-A is my "high calling." I now realize that "my full-time ministry" is to help others find their path in life and discover where they can use their gifts and talents at Chick-fil-A."
"Hebrews 12:15 says, 'See to it that no one misses the grace of God.' As I work with my own staff and lead a team of twenty-six people, I keep that in mind."
"The key is in selection. It is much like marriage. You have to make sure you are choosing the right person. We actually call it a courting process when we are researching a potential Franchisee. It is also a big decision for them."
For Reflection:
  • Is your church encouraging its people to see their workplace as a vocation -- a calling?
  • This woman's work skills could translate to equipping people to serve in the church. Is there someone like her in your church?
  • Will the people who meet me today see the grace of God through me?
  • Is our church recruitment process like a courting process?
 Appreciation by Nomination
Nominating one of your volunteers for a community award is a great way to appreciate and affirm them. The senior center in our community seeks a volunteer to honor each year and we will nominate one of our volunteers. Last year we nominated George, He initiated radio broadcasts of our church service 50-plus years ago, and has transitioned with the ministry through cassette tapes to audio files on our website. We sent George a letter with a copy of the completed nomination form. When we were informed that someone else was selected, we sent George a letter affirming he's on the top of our list! The value of the effort:
  • We learned more about George as we gathered details for the nomination form. I found out that George's initial volunteering was motivated by God's protection in WWII battles at Normandy & Okinawa.
  • The process prods us to measure how our ministries and volunteers impact the community around us.
  • George sees his lifelong accomplishments outlined and affirmed.
  • We're all reminded the contributions of people's time and talents.
 Karen's Recent Blogs

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