“I’ll do it!” Becky declared. Her face radiated joy and enthusiasm. Becky liked to help out, especially at church. Talkative and always smiling, she always encouraged others.
But this particular project demanded hours of tedious research. And it involved little social interaction. By the end of week two, Becky’s shoulders started to slump. Her smile slowly faded, and a small frown appeared on her brow.
“Why can’t I do this?” she finally cried out in a desperate prayer.
Many volunteers, eager at first to serve, become discouraged after working on a specific project. If they encounter an especially challenging assignment, some may even leave the church or drop out of the organization. As you begin to fill your volunteer positions this fall, pay special attention to predicting and preventing this unfortunate outcome!
Jim Collins, respected writer in the area of organization effectiveness, says, “If we get the right people on the bus, [and] the right people in the right seats . . . then we’ll figure out how to take it someplace great.”
The question “Who’s right for this position?” sometimes involves issues of spiritual giftedness, and sometimes it involves issues of natural talents and abilities. No matter how hard you work at encouraging volunteers, it’s almost impossible to spark enthusiasm with the “wrong people in the wrong seats” of your ministry “bus”!
Rest assured, the Lord has promised to equip his Church with all of the specific skills, talents, and spiritual gifts we need. The Holy Spirit prepares each believer for unique service in the local congregation so that his Church may grow in grace. (See 1 Corinthians 12:4–26; Ephesians 4:11–12.)
This fall, you might think about using tools to discern the spiritual gifts of volunteers before you recruit them for specific tasks. While many spiritual gifts inventories have been developed, all are designed to zero in on a person’s God-given traits, interests, and passions. Some will provide instant analysis free!
Every committed Christian wants to serve the Lord Jesus; the Holy Spirit has gifted each of Christ’s people for service. Trust that he’s done this, and ask his guidance as you seek to place the right people in the specific positions that will bring them the most joy and fulfillment.
Where is your fall ministry bus headed?
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