We are starting to look to the fall and recruit our leadership team. Maybe we have a sinking feeling as you realize you have less “help” than we had previously accounted for. Let’s face it our best “workers” are usually unpaid as well. Therefore, it’s important when we think of “volunteers” to make some important determinations:


Not everyone wants to run a small group. There are those that are relational, some are administrative, others like to organize details or make meals. It is easiest to assess the needs of your ministry and tell people where you will put them. This is not the most beneficial for everyone involved. We had a gentleman once who came into our ministry wanting to serve the youth. Our greatest need at the time was those small group leaders. This lasted about 3 months until he came into my office one day and told me he was quitting. I asked “Why” he was leaving. Had I done something? He went on to explain that teaching a small group Bible study was just “not for him.” “I love what you are doing here, I would guess there isn’t anything else you might have?” After some searching we discovered that this detailed retired engineer loved administrative type roles. He now has been volunteering for about 15 years, has his own desk and refuses to accept pay.. Instead of what you need, who are the people the Lord is sending you? If you are willing to meld your needs with their passions then we keep committed workers for longer. (Leadertreks (leadertreks.com) has some amazing tools that help you take a different look at placement.)


Job descriptions are step one. It details exactly what and who you are looking for.. Over communicating expectations is step two. You have a vision statement? What is it? Can each member of your team recite it and explain it in 3 minutes or less? Processes help everyone to know they are headed in the right direction. Do you have an application? Do your potential “help” fill out any sort of leadership style, personality or spiritual gifts assessment? What about a full on manual that details full expectations? Each person will enter with their own unique strengths and ideas on how to carry out the vision. There are key components that you are asking of them. These need to be clearly outlined. How often do you interact with your team? Do they get at least a weekly email update? Help lend direction to those on your team.


Training is indispensible. This can come in many forms. After your weekly meeting do you do a “debrief.” I follow a method I learned from Doug Franklin. The “3’s”. 3 things that went well. 3 Challenges. 3 Action steps. Once a quarter we offer a deep evening training on a practical “how to” that the team has been asking about. Weekly I send out an article or web link that I think might be helpful. Obviously, there are so many ideas of ways that you can train people. If you are reading this site you are a learner yourself. I would begin with sending along helpful tips you are learning to everyone else on your team. Make the time and the expectations on everyone that this is a “must” that helps them with all that they do.


These are just a few of the elements that help build a stronger team, heading to the same goal. It can be easy to think, “of course we all know where we are going.” However, I would never be afraid to stop and ask if everyone really knows.

How do you help your leadership team succeed?