I often want a technique or a special strategy to recruit and retain volunteers.
These aren’t bad in and of themselves. Techniques and strategies exist to help us in the human realm to grease the wheel, make things convenient, even fun. Our volunteers need to be appreciated, loved, cared for, and trained, in order for them to be effective and long-lasting.
However, techniques and strategies come in a distant second place to faith. We are to have faith in God as leaders, not faith in a technique or strategy. Our faith is often misplaced.
The God of the harvest sends workers. He knows what we need ever before we existed to need it! Living a life of faith through the eyes of faith is Christian maturity. It’s the sanctification process through the Holy Spirit.
Leading, recruiting and retaining volunteers is a spiritual enterprise, not a scientific equation with expected outcomes. We really need to place our faith in God first and foremost and trust that He knows what we need.
And the response of a radical and incomprehensible faith in the God who ALWAYS provides is to be faithful. As James so eloquently puts it: “Faith without works is dead” (2:26).
Works by itself is worthless. A well-run and functional children’s ministry is worthless if there is no faith. Faith without works is no faith because it doesn’t do anything. The two, faith and works, go hand-in-hand. One is the fruit of the other. One is compelled by the other.
When you are short of volunteers, have faith and be faithful.
When volunteers miss and you get that Saturday evening phone call, have faith and be faithful.
When it feels like you are all alone and the only one who cares, have faith and be faithful.
God knows what it is like to be abandoned, to have his “volunteers” desert him. And yet, Jesus exhibited faith and was faithful. Thank God!! And we are Christians, little Christs.