The Next Step of a Volunteer

Barbara Graves —  March 16, 2011

You’re a volunteer.  You’ve been serving for some amount of time in your current position and ministry.  No doubt, some things have been as you expected them to be in your ministry, and some things may have been quite different than you expected.  But no matter what your expectation level was, you now are in a place of serving.  Don’t get to comfortable, though.  It may well be time to take the next step.

Step forward:

Take this step if everything is good.  If you are loving what you do and all is going well, consider yourself right in the middle of the path that God has prepared for you and keep walking.  A path is meant to be continued.  If you don’t continue, it’s a parking space, not a path.  Don’t park.  Consider taking a greater role of responsibility in your ministry.  If there is an obvious opening, talk with your ministry leader about stepping into it.

Step backward:

Sometimes, a volunteer positions is not what you expected.  Sometimes there are major differences in what you had anticipated taking on and what actually comes with the role that you have been assigned.  Talk with your ministry leader and explain the misunderstanding.  Tell that person what it was specifically that you were looking forward to doing and see if there is another place where you could serve that would better suit your preferences and allow you to minister effectively.  Effective ministry provides encouragement to both the volunteer and those who are being served.  If you are not encouraged by what you do, back up and go in a path that will.

Step sideways:

If you love what you are doing. It is a perfect fit, and just like Goldilocks, you think it is “just right”, you still can’t stay right there.  You need to take one baby step sideways and bring someone else along beside you to serve with you.  Invite a friend that you think would enjoy serving to come check out what you are doing.  Of course, your ministry leader will have the exact procedures to accomplish this.  Some have an “observation” time, when friends can come and check out the ministry.  Some will allow you to have someone to shadow you, and see what fun you have serving.  Whatever the procedure, your ministry leader will welcome your help with recruiting like-minded volunteers!

It’s time to take the next step!

Barbara Graves

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Barbara is a married mother of 4 grown kids. She is the volunteer Children’s Pastor at Momentum Church in Woodstock, GA where she oversees kids from birth to 5th grade. She can often be found driving around north Georgia, usually with a cup of coffee in her hand.