By Mark DeMoss, Director of Customer Success and Billing
I can not count to 20. That would be a true statement of my 3-year-old granddaughter. But she doesn’t describe herself that way. Instead, she gleefully declares “I can count to 10!” And she immediately begins with “1, 2, 3…” all the way to “10”. She celebrates what she can do and is excited about adding one more…”11” in the days to come. I’m confident, with practice and persistence, she will eventually count to 20 and beyond. One additional number at a time.
This is a Kingdom principle. Don’t get stuck on what you do not have. Instead dedicate what you do have to our good Father God and ask him to give the increase. Jesus taught this Kingdom principle to the disciples. He repeatedly put them in situations that seemed bigger than themselves. Then he taught them to give what they had to God and remarkable things happened. Can you image Peter’s amazement as he repeatedly reached into his basket and handed one more fish and bread dinner to another person, and another person, and another…until 5,000 people were fed. In Matthew 14:13-21 the disciples basically tell Jesus, “we can not feed all these hungry people. Send them away.” Jesus replies, “They do not need to go away. YOU give them something to eat.” The disciples entrust to Jesus the little they do have, and He miraculously provides more than enough.
As ministry leaders, we’ve all been at that place. We have said, “I do not have enough volunteers.” Like my granddaughter, don’t describe your leadership that way. Don’t get stuck there. Instead, focus on what you do have and ask Jesus how to be a good steward of it. Ask him how to give what you do have to those around you and watch him do remarkable things. We have the privilege of discipling the people around us and helping them step into their Kingdom purpose. As we develop the people around us…one life at a time…Jesus will entrust us with enough to meet the needs.
Our FellowshipOne team has the privilege of seeing ministries across the entire church spectrum. We see ministries in the early stages of “we do not have enough volunteers”. We also see ministries that have developed to the stage of having an abundance of volunteers. It involves intentional, incremental steps; not giant leaps. So be honest with yourself and Jesus. Bring what little you have to him. Ask him to show you the next step to disciple those around you.
Do you have a few volunteers? Offer to grab a cup of coffee with each one and deepen your relationship. Pray for each volunteer. Then begin speaking life to each one. “Mary, I love how you warmly welcome each person walking through your door as a greeter. You are making a positive, first impression as you show each person the love of Jesus.” By doing so, you are elevating their awareness that they are not merely a task-doer—no, they are doing the work of the ministry. Then ask each one to pray that the Lord will bring more people to serve with us.
As ministry leaders, our work is “to equip his [Jesus’] people for works of service”—ministry (Ephesians 4:11-13).
Explain your process for bringing new volunteers onboard. Give them clarity so they may confidently invite others to begin serving with them. Be encouraged to patiently and persistently equip people to step into their Kingdom purpose. As you do, I’m confident your ministry will gradually move to an abundance of people doing the work of the ministry—serving in children’s ministry, student’s ministry, greeting, ushering, and all through the church.