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Find Your Hardest-Working Leaders, Then Ask Them To Do More

Recruiting / Volunteers //

Yesterday was a crazy kind of day. I had a couple of unplanned meetings, a trip to visit a kid in the hospital (he’s doing better!), and then Awana. It was the kind of day that could have gone really haywire were it not for some very competent leaders.

When it comes to leading others, especially volunteers, we sometimes have a desire to spread the work out as evenly as possible, so we avoid burning our leaders out. It makes sense, but I’d suggest the opposite. The key to getting the most out of your leaders is to identify the ones who are the most dedicated, and ask them to do more. Why?

  • Odds are they will be excited to take on a bigger responsibility, because they’re passionate about your ministry. If they’re already going above and beyond, they’ve bought into your vision, and they’ll be excited about taking it further.
  • You’ll actually build more loyalty, not less. This is because they’ll have a larger part to play, and more opportunities to see how much their time makes an impact.
  • It gives you more face time with them, which gives you the chance to pour more into your highest performing leaders. It also allows you to better support them if they are struggling at home or at church.
  • Finally, the risk of burning them out is actually quite small, so long as you keep your lines of communication open. If you are supportive and communicative with your key leaders, they’re more likely to come to you if they’re feeling over-committed. This gives you the chance to dial back their commitment without losing them entirely, plus it gives them the chance to know that they are valued and supported.

It’s always great to find new leaders to fill your empty roles. However, the leaders you’re looking for may already be in your ministry, killing it in a smaller role. Look around at your leader pool, and see if you’ve got some great leaders ready for a bigger job!

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About the Author

Collie Coburn is the pastor of children's ministries at First Christian Church in Santa Maria, CA. He loves doing, strategizing, and writing about children's ministry. He loves spending time with his wife and son even more. Collie blogs at innovatekids.com, and is also on twitter.