What are the Key Ingredients needed to develop your Volunteer and Leadership teams?

Do you have a process for developing a volunteer labor force for the ministries in your church? What about a process for developing leaders for every ministry in your church? What would you say are the essential ingredients needed to develop a strong pool of volunteers and leaders in your church? Below are some things to consider when creating your customized development process.


How do you learn about your people so you don’t plug them into a ministry where they don’t fit? You can use a number of tools to evaluatetheir SHAPE. Rick Warren used this acrostic to explain how people are put together.

Spiritual Gifts
Heart (Passions)

You can take advantage of online tools like Place Ministries or Assess Me or any number of books to help you evaluate your congregation. Our Book Resource section is full of resources for you to analyze before purchasing. A number of examples are at the end of this email.


How do you introduce people to your ministries? How do you invite them to join your volunteer staff or your leadership teams? How do you challenge and motivate people to invest themselves in one or two of your ministries? Do you have a system for enrolling them in a ministry, then leading and managing them while they serve, along with a clear path for their exit when they are ready to leave? I would imagine this would be a welcome feature to those serving in your ministries along with those that have yet to serve.


How do you prepare your congregation to serve? Do you just throw them into the deep end of the pool and hope they can swim? John Maxwell teaches a four step process to equip people for a particular ministry. Here it is.

Step One: Have them observe you performing the task.

Step Two: Have them join you and observe you performing the task.

Step Three: Have them join you and they perform the task.

Step Four: Have them perform the task by themselves and you observe.

The four steps may need to be applied differently depending on the person you are training and the task…so don’t hurry the process. Take your time and prepare them well.


Do you have a method for engaging them in your ministry? What about entrusting them with the responsibilities involved? Do you have a way to gather feedback from the “newbies” in each of your ministries? Did they feel prepared? Did they feel like the position was a good fit? I would suggest you follow-up with your first time volunteers and leaders to help them adapt and adjust to their new surroundings and responsibilities.


Do you make it a habit to encourage them as they serve? Surely they will have times where they are tempted to be discouraged and feeldefeated. What are you doing about those times? How are you helping them?


How do you continue to support them? Do you have a process to provide continuing education and training? As your ministries grow and develop how will they grow with it? How will you help your staff meet the new challenges of a growing or changing ministry? How will you determine if the person and the position are no longer compatible? Sometimes the ministry outgrows the person and sometimes it is the other way around. Do you have a plan in place to address that situation?

Let me urge you to design your own customized process to help your staff develop, both paid and volunteer. I don’t want to be plugged into a ministry that isn’t a good fit and I can’t imagine you do either. Let’s give the same consideration to those that serve under our care. Below are resources designed to help you engineer your own customized system. Give me a call if you need help designing a process for assimilating your congregation into the ministries of your church. I’ll be happy to help.


Interactive Training Videos:

How to Develop Volunteers for Every Ministry in Your Church

Seven Simple Steps to Develop Leaders in 30 Days

Developing Others to Lead

The Secret to Building High Performance Ministry Teams

Evaluation Resources with links to amazon:

S.H.A.P.E. by Erik Rees

Strengths Finder 2.0 by Tom Rath

Strengths Based Leadership by Tom Rath & Barry Conchie

Personality Type and Religious Leadership by Roy Oswald and Otto Kroeger

Protege by Steve & Cheri Saccone & Mark Batterson

Emotional Intelligence 2.0 by Travis Bradberry & Jean Greaves

48 Days to the Work You Love by Dan Miller

The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren

No More Mondays by Dan Miller

Living Your Strengths by Albert Winseman, Donald Olifton & Curt Liesveld

Live Your Passion, Tell Your Story, Change the World by Rob Reccord & Randy Singer

Maximizing Your Effectiveness by Aubrey Malphurs & Carl George

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