Are you a hole filler?
Does your ministry have an immediate need that you feel is so great, that you MUST put someone there, right now? Do you believe that if you don’t fill this hole, then the entire ministry will tank and you won’t be able to recover?
You may think that the image of a young man naively and cheerfully waiving underwater to a friend while a Great White Shark behind him is not an appropriate representation of being a hole filler. However, it kind of is.
Hole Fillers are eaten by Sharks
You see, hole fillers are make a decision and then think that everything will be fine. In this image, the young man went into deep water, unprepared, and was unaware of his surroundings. A hole filler also acts in the same way. Unprepared and unaware of his or her actions. Yes, I know that the image isn’t real but the consequences of being a hole filler are very real, especially when it comes to Volunteer Management and ministry.
In the past, I’ve been known to twist an arm or two in order to get people to teach classes or volunteer in our Children’s Ministry at Calvary Kendall.
Leading by hole filling is one of the most dangerous games you can play. You see that you absolutely need more adults to serve as Children’s Ministry Teachers and you want to equip your volunteers well, but you have no leads. What do you do? Someone offers to cover for the day and it’s crisis averted, for today. Or worse yet, you guilt someone, or outright force them, into taking on this responsibility. People will feel used and you won’t fix the problem, just temporarily seal it.
More likely than not, you’ll invest time and energy into training a volunteer that isn’t called or even inclined to serve in that capacity. They’ll volunteer a handful of times, start ignoring your emails and calls, and then disappear. Sometimes, a volunteer will feel so guilty about this that they’ll leave your church altogether. It’s much easier to avoid someone (you) than to have a difficult conversation about why you can’t serve in a certain role. I’m not saying this is right, but it is life.
Take the lead and don’t let it come to that. Don’t select someone purely for the purpose of filling a hole.
As Pastors, we are in the business of helping people reach their fullest potential in Christ. We are not in the business of sandbagging potential volunteers. I have no problem asking someone to take a step of faith in ministry, but I will never beg, prod, or argue someone into a ministry responsibility. The volunteers that I lead who are called to Children’s Ministry and the kids they serve are worth too much to me, and to Jesus. What we do is too important. And frankly, serving in Children’s Ministry is an absolute honor and privilege that we have. If someone isn’t called to it or doesn’t want it, then we don’t want them here. We want them where God wants them.
Serving God in this way privilege that we shouldn’t take lightly. I would love for everyone to experience the honor of teaching kids the Bible. It will spiritually grow you like nothing else. Let’s help people discover the joy and challenge that is Children’s Ministry. It’s no wonder that every Pastor at Calvary Kendall has volunteered in Kids or Youth Ministry at some point.
We want people to serve where God has called them. Whatever ministry, neighborhood, occupation, or country God has called you to serve in, be there to your fullest.
Where do YOU think God is calling you?