How To Pay Free Staff
Right now I'm the only full time staff person in the youth ministry at our church. I'm okay with that because I have a great team of volunteer ministers who give so much of their time and money to make the ministry what it is today.
It would be great to have paid staff helping me out in the student ministry but my church isn't in the place to do that now. Right now I have to rely on many unpaid staff and everyday I'm blown away by how much they give me, the church and God. I have one married couple with small children who pay for a babysitter every Thursday so that they can lead the high school ministry.
I'm not saying this to brag, but to say that I'm overwhelmingly blessed with people who sacrifice so much to make sure that the ministry succeeds. And while I don't know what makes people like this tick, I know that it's important to keep them around. So how do you pay back free staff?
You make them feel appreciated. And there are number of ways you can do that:
- Write a Thank You Note: Don't write a thank you email, don't just say thank you in person, write an actual note with a message telling them why you are thanking them.
- Brag on Them: Next time you have a staff meeting, next time you meet with your pastor, next time you are meeting with all your ministers brag on the ones who go above and beyond, hold them up. As long as you do this to praise others and not put down the rest of the team you'll create role models within the ministry.
- Share Life With Them: Buy them lunch, a cup of coffee and just share life. Get to know their families, their jobs, their lives and then share yours. Sometimes people get into ministry just to be around other people.
- Do Them A Favor: If they have kids, watch them for free one night. Mow their yard, help them with a house project, find someway that you can serve them. The best leaders are always servant leaders.
This isn't rocket science, its really just common courtesy and humble leadership. Most people I know who volunteer never go into it expecting anything in return, but when you do show them your appreciation they'll appreciate you back because you've shown them that they are worth investing. I could go on with ways to thank our volunteers; however, I would love to hear what others have done. So how do you show your appreciation?
Chris is the Youth Pastor at Church of the Nativity in Timonium, MD. Chris is an avid runner, big family man, and has served Christ in student ministry(grades 5th-12th) for over 5 years. Chris shares his joys,frustrations and challenges of ministry through his blog Marathon Youth Ministry.
Chris is married to his beautiful wife Kate and has an awesome son Matthew in Pikesville, MD.