Thursday, June 7, 2012

That's All There Is?

It’s been several years since our church website has been updated, so I decided to look at some other church websites. No two churches are alike, but it is always good to have an idea of what seems to be working for other people. On one website, I found a link to a volunteer page. I have visited the church in question and it is several times the size of our church. The size of their church necessitates activities that our church doesn’t have. So, I was expecting to find an extensive list of volunteer opportunities. Here is what I found:
  • Sunday Morning Greeters
  • Sunday Morning Information Desk
  • Sunday Morning Parking Team
  • Children’s Area: Welcome Desk
  • Children’s Area: Sunday School Teacher
  • Preschool: Preschool Junction Greeters
  • Preschool: Junction Classroom Teachers
This was on a form on which a person could provide his name, e-mail address, and phone number. He could then submit the form after checking one or more of the items.

It would seem that a volunteer at the church in question has the opportunity to serve on the Welcome Team or to work with children. If I were in a position to fill out that form, I don’t know that there is a checkbox that I would want to click. That’s not to say these are not important ministries. If anything, they are among some of the most important ministries. The first three are the face of the church to newcomers. The last four deal with children. What we teach children early in life is the foundation for what they learn later.

Ironically, on the Ministries menu, their website lists 30 separate ministries. 25 of those are listed on the contact page. But only three appear on the volunteer opportunities page. I consider that to be a mistake. I believe that the reason some people are not involved in their church is because the service opportunities that see don’t fit their skill set. Not everyone is cut out to be a greeter. Not everyone is cut out to work with children. Not everyone should teach. Not everyone can sing in the choir or play an instrument. But if you look at what people see taking place on Sunday morning, that’s pretty much what there is.

We need to open people’s eyes to the opportunities that aren’t part of the Sunday morning worship service and Sunday School hour. We also need to make it easy for them to volunteer. Some people find it hard to approach a ministry leader to volunteer. Once they are on the team, they will be faithful. It is that first step that is difficult. So we should make it easy for them to take the first step and difficult for them to back away.