My step-son Sean is a wise man. Sean has an expression "Not everyone is afflicted with the disease of self awareness." No where is this more true than for volunteers in the church. Consider this; There is a meeting of church leadership. Someone identifies that a volunteer is needed to serve as mission coordinator for the next year. The chair of this leadership group asks "Who will step up and lead?" One is the group has leadership qualities but is new and feels shy about putting herself out there. Another in the group is irritated with the chair so holds back, letting the call for service go unanswered. Two others look down, look sideways, and pray that no one calls on them. One in the group, who has limited leadership gifts, and who is the least self aware, steps up and says "here I am, take me!" Everyone else in the group cringes because they know, the project is doomed from the start if this volunteer becomes the next mission coordinator, but what can be done? The available volunteer not only lacks the gifts necessary for the work but is also not afflicted with the disease of self awareness. To say "no" now would clearly be awkward.
DO NOT ASK FOR VOLUNTEERS. If you do, then you have to live with the inevitability that the volunteer you receive will not have the gifts for the work.
Church leaders continue to say things like "Let's advertize for help in the newsletter," or "pastor, would you make an announcement from the pulpit that we need someone to step forward and volunteer?" Big mistake. Ask for volunteers like that and you will have to take whoever is willing and whoever is the first to step forward. Look around, is everyone in the room gifted for the job? If not, don't ask for volunteers. Instead, target someone who is gifted, talk with them before the meeting, and while identifying the targeted recruits' gifts, ask the decision making body if they agree that this is the right person to take on the leadership task.
1. Have someone in mind
2. Get their permission to offer up their name
3. Identify to everyone how their gifts of leadership match the ministry task.