As a ministry leader, one of my prime objectives is to lead a group of volunteers to successfully implement the functions of ministry on a weekly basis.
That’s a flowery way of saying, “I lead a team of volunteers to invest in kids”.
But that “Sunday-to-Sunday” race means I focus a lot time on preparing for church every week. Whether you do Sunday School, Children’s Church, or some variation of the two, kidmin leaders spend copious amounts of time ensuring we have enough volunteers to take care of the kids that will show up this weekend.
But we also know there are greater objectives to achieve beyond staffing our rooms. In fact, I contend that all of us in ministry have one simple objective every week.
To increase our capacity to lead.
Help those around us increase their capacity to lead.
Sounds so simple and yet filled with a multitude of challenges. The primary question being… How?
How do we help those around us increase their own capacity to lead?
In fact, how do we create a system that equips volunteers to improve the quality of their leadership? This is the ‘Rubiks Cube’ of many churches today. And though I don’t have the comprehensive solution, I’ve discovered a great step that has helped me provide clarity and consistency within my volunteer leaders. It’s improving our outcomes and making our volunteer experience better.
And nothing works better to multiply your volunteer team than great volunteer experiences!
Recently I’ve elevated some volunteers into Team Lead roles. These roles are relationally driven and the primary objective is to know how their volunteer team is doing and what they need. Success for this leader is when they have a thumb on the pulse of the volunteers they serve alongside and help set them up to win every week.
This is not a new role in our ministry. It’s existed for several years. But we’ve experienced varying levels of success. Some volunteers seem to hit the ground running. Their leadership is ‘felt’ among their team and these teams are healthy. Other volunteers never seem to get off the ground and at the end of the day, they’re really just a name filling a slot. They aren’t functioning well in the role.
The central question became… how do we fix this?
How do we increase consistency among our Team Leads and therefore increase consistency in how our volunteers are led and loved?
We have a standard Role Description that describes the function of the role. It lays out expectations, time commitments, and the central focus of this volunteer position. But the Role Description didn’t seem to do enough to equip these leaders to do what we asked them to do.
So, we introduced a new element… 5 Behaviors of a Successful Team Lead.
Here is what we shared. A successful Team Lead is…
Engaged with Volunteers outside of Sunday
This means you have contact with them via text, email, phone or face-to-face. Contact that lets them know you are available and ready to help. In fact, two questions we want you to ask on a regular basis are: What’s going well in your group? What needs do you have today?
Communicates with Staff
You’re the eyes and ears for your area. Proactively communicate with staff to ensure needs of kids and volunteers are addressed in a timely manner.
Leads Room & Delegates Tasks
You know what needs to happen in your room/area throughout the hour and you ensure these areas are covered by the best person on your team.
Prepares for Sunday
You lead the way. You arrive prepared and ready to serve. You set the tone for the rest of your team.
You consistently invite others to take part in what God is doing at Faith Promise. No matter the ministry, you are working to ensure every person that calls FPC their home is plugged in and serving.
We shared these behaviors with our newest Team Leads and what we discovered was a game-changer.
The newest Team Leads equipped with these behaviors have performed better than Team Leads without this information. By standardizing the behaviors of our Team Leads we set ourselves up to experience better outcomes with our volunteers.
And that feels good.
Keeping the momentum…Learn More