It’s January, and new committee members are starting their roles at churches across the United States. They’ll look to the committee chair to guide their work. But — help!! What if you’re the committee chair? Here are some quick tips from experienced volunteer organizer Pamela Deck:
1. Get to know your volunteers and build personal relationships with them. They will all bring unique gifts to your committee. (I Cor 12: 18-20)
- Chat with each person individually and listen to their story
- Encourage them to take a Spiritual Gifts and Behavior/Learning Style Inventory
- Connect their gifts and style with the ministry vision and tasks
2. Be a servant leader, following Jesus Christ’s example with his disciples. Don’t be a “Lone Ranger” and attempt to do it all yourself. Empower and equip your volunteers! (Luke 22: 24-27)
- Have simple, updated one-page Ministry Descriptions. Ask previous leaders for input.
- Use ‘hands-on’ experiences and discuss and debrief in your committee orientation.
- Online webinar training is available as a group or on your own time. (At BeADisciple and elsewhere)
- Let your volunteers know resources available: budget, staff, materials.
3. Affirm and Give Constructive Feedback to your Volunteers (Phil 1:3-6)
- Both affirm people for who they are and recognize people for what they do.
- Constructive feedback is factual and non-judgmental. Use the SBI method: start with Situation “When…”, then say Behavior “you involved everyone there”, say Impact “I heard the other volunteers will come work again!” Then listen.
Good luck with your committee, leaders!
For much more information and tips on working with volunteer groups effectively, check out Pamela’s upcoming course, Connecting and Leading Lay Volunteers in Ministry, starting January 25.
Pamela Deck loves helping churches, other groups, and individuals equip disciples and connect faith to real life through Christian education ministries! Based in the Western North Carolina Conference, her educational background includes a B.S. from Clemson University, Certificate in Business Administration from Isothermal Community College, and graduate work at Candler School of Theology at Emory University for the Certified Associate in Christian Education in the United Methodist Church 1996. She has over 25 years of experience in education ministry. Read her full biography here!