When I first started in ministry 8 years ago I inherited about 15 volunteers. While my team has grown, only one of my original volunteers remain. What’s remarkable is not how long she’s been with me; but, how long she’s been in ministry. In fact she served in the student ministry 15 years before my tenure. Is she one of my best leaders? Yes; however, not because of her longevity.
In your ministry you probably have an array of volunteers. You have ones who are creative and ones who get their hands dirty. You have people who serve weekly and others who step up seasonly. The gifts and talents can vary from speaking to figuring out how to run a cost effective event. Each one of your ministers is unique to how they impact your ministry. But, what makes certain volunteers rise above the rest? Who are your best people?
- Lead In Big Opportunities: You should always put your best people in your biggest opportunities because they will work from their strengths and not their weaknesses. You can tell who your best ministers are with how they lead their peers. Are they afraid to say, “No”? Do they delegate properly? Are they efficient in what they do? Give potential leaders in your ministry the opportunity to lead something big. This will give you the ability to replace yourself as your ministry grows.
- Respond Well To Failure: One day you will (If you haven’t already) mess up. The same goes for your ministers; however, the question is, “How will they respond to that failure?” Is there a sense of ownership? Will they learn from their mistakes? Your best leaders will not only right what was wrong, but learn how to grow from that situation.
- Have Balance Between Family And Ministry: Unfortunately, you will have people serving in your ministry looking to escape the messiness of home life. Your best leaders know how to balance that tension. They’ll see their role in your programs as a ministry; however, their role in their families as a calling. Your best leaders will know when it’s appropriate to say, “I’m not going to make it in because I need to be with family.” It might hurt; however, it shows you that they know what is important.
- Confront And Build You Up: Your best leaders will never put you in a spot where you feel publicly humiliated. They’ll praise you in public; however, know when and how to confront you privately. These are the people you trust to tell you the truth and call you out when you are misaligned.
Who are your best leaders? They are the people looking to grow and move with you? They’ll sit with you in the disorientation of life and ministry. They’ll challenge you to grow as a leader and individual. You might be able to find them in just a conversation; however, how they act and interact will be the true test. When you find your best people you’ll be able to create more capacity in your ministry and truly make an impact on the lives of others.