4. Define exactly what you want done. Everyone needs a job description. Especially volunteers! They also need checklist to show them what you want them to do as well as to provide a way to communicate with you what was done. Remember to always do what is best for the children and not what is only best for adults. Rotation doesn’t work in building volunteers through action. Look at verse 22 of Exodus 18, “Have them serve as judges for the people at all times, but have them bring every difficult case to you; the simple cases they can decide themselves. That will make your load lighter, because they will share it with you. This was not a once a month job but something that was an all the time commitment.
5. Train and teach those you recruit. Exodus 18:20 tells us to “Teach them the decrees and laws, and show them the way to live and the duties they are to perform. You must model to others how you want it done. Classes are good, but hands on training is better. Christians are the only people group I know that confuse the word training with verbal instruction. Every secular job that offers training does so by verbal communication in addition to the hands on training and mentoring. You don’t have to be the only model. I use my master teachers and coordinators to help me train and equip others. Everyone should be helping in the training and equipping process.
6. Push authority down! It is extremely important that you always delegate authority along with responsibility. One of the dumbest sayings I know is “The buck stops here.” There are many places for the buck to stop when you give authority to others. Those you delegate to can mot carry out the tasks that you desire without the authority.
7. Put your heart into the level of leadership under you. A person cannot represent you well if they don’t have your heart. You cannot put your heart into your volunteer leaders without making a commitment to spend time with them. Always take someone with you whenever you can. Be quick to pass on what you know to someone else. Allow those around you to ask questions. Establish excellent lines of communication. Take advantage of every communication tool available. I use meetings, memos, newsletters, faxes, and e-mails.
8. Establish accountability with those you delegate to. Teach your volunteers how authority works. Help them to understand the chain of command. I love flow charts, they are the simplest way to show others structure and authority. Remember Jesus said the greatest faith in all of Israel was found in a man who understood how authority worked. Weekly reports are a must to help you follow-up on what others are doing. Remember people don’t do what you expect, they do what you inspect!
9. Support and encourage those who help you. It is imperative that you build a support structure around your volunteers. This might sound wild but the best way I know to show others you believe in them is by releasing them to do the work of the ministry. Ephesians 4:11-12 says “It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God's people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up.” Our job is not to do all the work in Children’s Ministry but to train up others and prepare them for works of service. In the same way we must lead others by encouragement. This is not as hard as you may think. Here are five sure fired ways to encourage your volunteers. #1. Say thank you constantly. #2. Catch people doing things right. Complement your volunteers in a job well done. #3. Take the calls of your volunteers. #4. Check on your volunteers and see how they are doing. Use your M.B.W.A. degree. Management by walking around. #5. Help others be better at what they do, every chance you get.