Finding and maintaining volunteer success in a multisite church
So far in this series, we have discussed challenges that a church might be facing as they become a multisite. The series has included issues like vision planning, establishing leadership, creating campus identity, and utilizing the proper technology. All of these things are needed when planning and launching a new campus. However, any church leader knows that running a church also requires a motivated group of volunteers to keep the day to day and week to week processes running strong. Many churches face the challenge of finding equally eager volunteers for two or more campuses, especially if it took awhile to build and fill the volunteer teams in their first campus. It may seem like a difficult feat, but taking time to build a close-knit volunteer force will strengthen the health and life of your church.
The most effective churches have figured out how to transfer ownership effectively. As a result, their churches consist of excited volunteers, led by empowering leaders. Here are a few things we can learn from leaders who are effective at transferring ownership and creating partners in their vision.
1. Cast The Vision
This gets a lot of press in the church world. We all know that without a vision, the people perish (Proverbs 29:18). A vision needs to be communicated clearly. Churches involved in God’s Work of Redemption inherently have visions that are incredibly compelling. When each team’s role is clearly connected to the core vision of the church – their visions become compelling as well.
“We are going to set up in 45 minutes or less.”
“Our setup teams will have plenty of energy left over to be engaged with the service and present to visitors.”
“Our worship space will point people to God.”
2. Set The Boundaries
If you are going to turn responsibilities over to leaders and volunteers, you need to be clear on where your responsibilities end and theirs begin. For example, “This is your baby now. You care more about sound quality than I do. That is why you are the right person for this job, not me!” This step is so critical, and it is where many leaders fail. It is so important not to violate the boundary that you have set. Don’t nag. Don’t control. Don’t micromanage. Those mistakes will destroy a sense of ownership. Once you have agreed on the mechanisms of accountability, you can hold people accountable without violating their boundaries.
3. Provide Resources
Make sure that delegation comes with the resources necessary to get the job done. This includes training, equipment, time, and money. It can also include processes and access to key people. You can even offer to help, as long as it’s clear that you are not the boss when you step into the other person’s area of responsibility. This step is particularly important early on when the risk of discouragement is high and a person may not know or even trust that certain resources are available.
4. Allow Failure
Here is where most leaders fail when it comes to transferring ownership. Perhaps we never really wanted to give up control. Perhaps our low self-esteem demands that we jump back in to prove that we do it best. Perhaps failure avoidance is more important to us than healthy delegation. Perhaps we fail to recognize failure for what it is – the last step in a successful transfer of ownership. Perfectionists don’t lead empowered teams. Failure is part of the process. Expect it. How you handle it will cement or destroy the sense of ownership that a person has for their area of responsibility.
5. Enjoy Success
There is a difference between renters and owners, between babysitters and parents, between stewards and heirs. Jesus talked about the difference between hired hands and shepherds (John 10). There is tremendous satisfaction in working with a team that cares as much about accomplishing the vision as you do.
How does your church encourage and support a community or volunteers and servanthood? Let us know in the comments below!
For more information on how we help Multisite Churches, check out our Nexus Solutions.