Evaluate your culture
People always say “peer pressure” like it’s a bad thing. That’s not always the case! Would we recommend cornering anyone at your church and saying, “Why didn’t you volunteer? Everybody else is doing it.” Definitely not. But imagine if, by and large, the people in your church:
- Understood the importance of volunteering as leaders
- Knew how to get involved
- Regularly used their strengths and skills to help out, and
- (This is going to be your favorite.) Brought other people on board to volunteer, too!
That kind of culture in which “everybody’s doing it (volunteering)” because they care about leading fosters “Deuteronomy discipleship”; the truth of God that’s been impressed upon the hearts of the adults in the church is then impressed upon the children of the church. And it not only feels good but it IS good — because it’s how God designed child discipleship.
Establishing a serving-oriented church culture starts with assessing your current culture. It’s important to know, going into this, that your culture can’t be assessed OR changed by one person. Plan to have a sit-down (or two) with your lead pastor and other church ministers.
The Sit-Down: Collaborating with church leadership
When you meet with your leadership about the need to improve the volunteer leader system, be prepared (and also prepare them) to consider and ask questions like:
Let’s explore question 1!
Your Mission Statement
What is your church mission statement? (No mission statement? See Crafting Your Church Mission Statement)
How does your mission statement support or not* support a) the mission of your children’s ministry and b) a culture of serving faithfully?
*If your team determines your church mission statement isn’t conducive to child discipleship and volunteerism within the church, you may need to rethink and revise your mission statement. See Crafting Your Church Mission Statement for help.
Now let’s circle back to question 2.
Church/Community Discipling Partnership
Is your church community coming together to disciple children or is it being left just to the moms, dads and staff?
Your answer to this question will reveal the overall health of your church’s current volunteer leader culture. If it’s clear that change is needed, an excellent place to start is assessing the factors that shape your ministry. Consider using a Strengths, Opportunities, Weaknesses and Threats (SWOT) Assessment. Doing this analysis can help you clarify the details you should consider as you start making plans.