Equip your volunteers for spiritual warfare. Ask God to deliver your volunteers from evil forces that may be trying to undermine their ministry work. Encourage your volunteers to read the Bible often and absorb its truths into their souls. Set a good example of holy living for them by making daily decisions that reflect the love and integrity that God wants you to have. Help volunteers resolve conflicts and develop peaceful relationships with each other. Urge your volunteers to have faith in God to empower them to minister to people successfully, rather than relying on their own efforts apart from Him. Help volunteers deal with the frustrations of their ministry work by looking at challenges from an eternal perspective.

Connect your volunteers to God’s vision and other people. Your volunteers are likely to remain faithful to their ministry work if they feel closely connected to God’s vision for the ministry, to the people they serve, and to their fellow volunteers. So give your volunteers plenty of opportunities to interact with each other so they can develop camaraderie that will help them work well as a team toward the common goal of fulfilling God’s purposes for the ministry. Encourage volunteers to pray for each other and help each other succeed at their tasks. Schedule some joint outings and regular training and prayer sessions for your volunteers.

Practice what you preach. Ask God to help you successfully serve as a good role model for your volunteers of personal holiness and devoted service. Do your best to obey God in all areas of your life. When you fail, be open and honest about your failures. Let your volunteers see that you’re a real person, just like them, struggling with vulnerabilities, grief, and uncertainties. Be most concerned not about what your volunteers think of you, but about what they think about Christ as they watch how well you represent Him. Be humble, reminding yourself daily that you’re one of Christ’s ambassadors who should serve Him as well as you can. Make a habit of confessing and repenting of your sins so you can keep growing closer to Christ.

Adapted from Rock Solid Volunteers: Keep Your Ministry Team Engaged, copyright 2011 by Larry Fowler. Published by Regal Books, a division of Gospel Light, Ventura, Ca., www.regalbooks.com
Larry Fowler is the Executive Director of Global Training for Awana, an international organization committed to helping churches and parents raise children and youth to know, love and serve Jesus Christ. For more than 30 years, Larry has pursued this mission in a range of capacities, including local-church Awana volunteer, missionary, speaker, author, teacher and executive director of international ministries, program development and training.

Whitney Hopler is a full-time freelance writer and editor.  You can visit her website at: http://whitneyhopler.naiwe.com/.

Publication date: April 7, 2011