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7 Ministry Principles Your Volunteers Need to Know

7 Ministry Principles Your Volunteers Need to Know

If you’re in church ministry, then you are absolutely dependent on your volunteers. You won’t survive a Sunday without them! This isn’t just true for Children’s Ministry, but for any ministry in your church. Leading volunteers isn’t what they can do for you or for your ministry, it’s about partnership. At Operation Christmas Child (A Project of Samaritan’s Purse), we have thousands of volunteers who serve with us every day, every week, and every month.

As I think through the types of things volunteers should know, there are hundreds, if not thousands of them. However, here I’ve boiled it down to 7 high level principles that your volunteers need to know in order to be successful. This isn’t an exhaustive list, I could’ve gone on forever, but knowing these 10 principles will move your volunteers toward success.

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Predictions for the 2020 Church

Way back in 2012, I wrote a series of blog posts titled “Predictions for the 2020 Church.” The purpose of this series was to explore the ways working at churches will have changed over the following 8 years. In this post, I’m going to go through all 11 predictions and let you judge how close I am to accurate predictions.

Here’s a list of the 11 blog posts and links to the original posts.

  1. Reputation Capital
  2. Mobile Devices
  3. Talent Shortage
  4. Social Network Recruiting
  5. Reinvention of Offices
  6. Hiring Entire Teams
  7. Blogging for Ministry Leaders
  8. Video Games, Simulations, and Alternative Reality
  9. A Global Network
  10. Lifelong Learning
  11. Work-Life Flexibility

They’re short blog posts, probably averaging about 200 words each. So in this post I’m going to put them on here in their entirety and quickly recap what the results are.

Predictions are in H2 (large font) in order to make them easy to scroll to.

Results are in H3 (slightly smaller than H2) for the same reason.

Let’s get started.

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Simple Ministry versus Easy Ministry

simple ministry -


I once heard a pastor friend of mine describe the difference between Apple and PC as this. Using an Apple product is like driving an automatic car, it’s what most of the population needs. Using a PC is like driving a stick shift, it does much more but is more complicated that what the majority of people need.

When speaking of volunteer management, what you really need is simple ministry, not easy ministry. Don’t mistake simple ministry for being easy and don’t mistake easy ministry for being simple. There’s a stark difference.

I’d like to share with you the difference between simple ministry and easy ministry. The difference is stark but still easy to miss.

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5 Steps to Equipping Volunteers

Equipping Volunteers well is a challenge -

The above image is of two Navy Seals. Navy Seals are elite American Special Operators who are not only volunteers, but who are recruited widely, selected from the many, and then equipped with the best. Leading volunteers isn’t only about recruiting the right individuals, leading volunteers is also about those equipping volunteers to succeed. There are a variety of ways to equip volunteers. Volumes could be written on the subject. However, I’m going to share with you 5 Steps to Equipping Volunteers. These steps are not in order of importance, they’re all important and all must be done in order to equip your volunteers well.

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20 Simple Ways to Show Gratitude to Your Volunteers

show gratitude

65% of volunteers say they haven’t heard the words, “thank you” in the last year. I don’t think that’s that big of a deal if you follow these rules. Still, showing gratitude to your volunteers is a big deal.  Here are 20 simple ways to show your volunteers that you appreciate them!

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Don’t Say “Thank You” To Your Volunteers

Don't say thank you to volunteers

I recently heard someone quote a statistic about church volunteers. Apparently, 65% of volunteers say they haven’t heard the words “thank you” in the last 12 months. Some may think that’s sad, but I don’t think it’s that big of a deal. Let me be clear, saying “Thank you” to your volunteers is just about pointless. Anyone can utter the words, it doesn’t mean anything.

For the record, I have no problem with saying “thank you”, on the contrary, I think it’s perfectly fine to say thank you. The problem is, saying “thank you” often becomes mindless appreciation and we say it instead of showing it. It’s far better to show gratitude than say gratitude. Anyone can say it, however, the key to appreciating your volunteers is showing it. Or at the very least displaying it in a meaningful way.

So, instead of the mindless “thank you”, do these three things instead.
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6 Characteristics of High Performance Teams

high performance teams -

Are you looking to take things to the next level? You must start with your team, you need a high performance team! What characteristics do high performance teams display? These 6 Characteristics of High Performance Teams will guide you in taking your teams to the next level!

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