Shifting from Volunteers to Leaders

Article by Valerie Bell June 5, 2020

We need to stop just volunteering and start leading.

David’s story is an outstanding example of a loving, caring adult whose relationship went far beyond the definition of “volunteer.” We need to take a serious look at that word “volunteer” and some of the things it implies. Volunteering keeps the door open for other possibilities. “Maybe I’ll be there to work in KidMin—or not. I am, after all, just a volunteer.” When churches struggle to get volunteers we think that’s not what children need today anyway. Honestly, this generation of kids need specialists, generational guardians and faithful dedicated leaders.

Awana is a 70-plus-year-old ministry. One of the most amazing parts of the Awana story is the large number of leaders who have been working with kids for decades. I always ask them “Why?” Why did you show up every week? Why did you say, “No” to other things you would have enjoyed doing? What got into you?

Their answers are amazingly similar; “I just fell in love with the kids.”

Whether they kept attendance roles, provided snacks or taught kids the Bible, we think of them as more than volunteers. They are leaders. They led with their priorities. They led with their time. They led with their presence. They led with their hearts. KidMin needs more leaders and fewer volunteers! Ministry to children is the most critical ministry in the church impacting the future of faith. It should be funded, prioritized, preached about from the pulpit, and celebrated constantly. It needs our investment, our time and our lives. In light of the challenges facing this generation of kids, they deserve the most charismatic, energized, enthusiastic leaders we can find. Our churches need to understand how critical this is. It’s time to do what leaders do. It’s time to lead.