The very nature of much of what we do in ministry is that it is often done by people who do not receive payment in the form of money, goods or services. In other words, most of the time, ministry is done by volunteers. Sometimes these volunteers are supervised by paid ministry staff; sometimes they are supervised by other volunteers. In either case, in order for volunteers to be successful in doing the work they are called and gifted to do, those who lead them must ensure that they are properly equipped, trained and motivated.
Equipment. Ministry requires certain facilities and tools. Such things as an adequate and comfortable space in which to do ministry, necessary supplies, technical equipment, etc. are essential to getting the job done.
Training. Much of the time, volunteers are inadequately trained to do ministry. Long term and effective ministry can only occur when people are properly prepared to serve. Conversely, inadequate preparation is a recipe for frustration and possible disaster.
• Volunteers should be given adequate instruction in the whys, whats and hows of the job at hand.
• They need to understand who they are responsible to and how much authority they will have to carry out the details of their assignment.
• Periodic touching base with the ministry team provides opportunity to deal with issues and receive encouragement.
Motivation. While it is true that volunteers do not receive a paycheck for the ministry they do, they must receive some benefit from what they do or they will not serve for very long. Benefits that volunteers may receive (and that leaders can help them enjoy) include:
• A sense of having pleased the Lord by serving faithfully
• Being a valued part of a ministry team and / or church family
• Seeing at least some portions of the work done with excellence
• Appreciation from those they serve
• Occasional “serendipities” (cards, small gifts, doing lunch, get-togethers, etc.)