Lots of emails are coming in seeking help in staffing for LOGOS this fall. Are you having trouble getting people to “step up to the plate” to serve in any ministry of the church? Let’s get something really clear, they rarely do just “step up”! So we need to find another way to engage people in ministry. Lots of adults--representing many generations. Our goal is not just to staff programs, but to build lots of healthy Christ-centered relationships in our faith community.
God didn’t wait for people to come (or even make general pulpit announcements).
God called people to come.
Moses, Mary, Gideon, Samuel, Noah, Jonah, Isaiah, Esther, Paul, the disciples. For each one God said, “Come…follow me.” Burning bushes, Jesus Christ, still small voices in the night, angels, and through other people. Wait, other people? Yes! We can play that role today in the church for all those folks just waiting to hear “Come…follow me” (whether they realize it or not) to help those in need or greet newcomers or visit the shut-ins or teach the fourth graders.
It helps to have an intentional way or process of inviting people to serve. At GenOn Ministries, we’ve developed one. And it works. Here are the basics:
- Help people recognize that God calls people to very broad roles (to be a “covenant people” and to be faithful followers of Christ) as well as a call to use specific gifts in a specific way.
- Find ways for those in your church to discover and understand their specific gifts.
- Establish a team that will go through intentional steps to implement this process of call (Call Team).
- Call Team spends time in prayer and study of scripture to invite God into the process.
- Call Team creates a description for each position (tasks and expectations, term of service, spiritual gifts needed, personality fit, support and resources provided) and then prays over it.
- Call Team spends time on their own considering names for specific position descriptions and continues praying (but not asking yet!).
- Call Team meets again to consider names for each position (how well each person matches the gifts and talents needed, how will the church benefit and be blessed by each individual serving in this role, how will each person benefit and be blessed by serving in this role) and through prayer and discernment seeks one name.
- Someone on the Call Team extends the invitation…face to face…not through an email or passing in the hallway at church on a busy Sunday morning…and gives the person time to talk to and listen to God (and other people) about the call.
- Someone on the Call Team follows up 3-5 days later to hear the answer and accepts and celebrates a “no” as readily as a “yes” assuming time has been spent in discernment.
That’s a summary of the call process and must always be followed by a commitment to equip our volunteers once they have answered the call to serve. You can find a section of our LOGOS Toolkit ("Defining LOGOS: Understanding the Why of LOGOS Ministry") and a podcast (“Identifying Needs and Calling Volunteers”) to learn more. It’s also a key practice of LOGOS taught in our Encounter training. Those needed ministry position descriptions can be found (and “tweaked” to your context) in various sections of the LOGOS Toolkit. The process can be applied church-wide in seeking people to serve in all spaces and places.
Does that get you started to help others listen to the call of God to serve? It's a thousand times more effective than recruiting in an exhausting frenzy.