I am in the process of learning a hard lesson, but it is one I want to share with you. For the first time in my ministry in Warsaw, I have volunteers helping me on a regular basis. I have worked with volunteers for big events, but they were usually in areas like set design and choreography, I’ve never had someone else be a leader. Up until now, I had a pretty good monopoly on the kids’ ministries. I teach the elementary Sunday School (yes, one class for the entire elementary ages), I teach them during kids’ church, and starting in January I began teaching them on Wednesday nights.
I have a couple of volunteers now helping me in these areas, but I want to talk specifically about one, simply because I want to keep this brief.
During our program on Wednesdays, I have asked one of the moms to help me. The first couple of weeks, I didn’t give her very big tasks. Then I decided I would let her do the object lesson. I had looked at the curriculum for the week and thought it would be a good object lesson for her to do. After I asked her to do it, I looked again. I had looked at the wrong week! The object lesson for this week was on communion and the elements of communion!
So, even though I thought it was something I as the big bad children’s pastor should teach, I let her teach the object lesson. SHE BLEW ME AWAY. This volunteer looked up extra bible verses and seriously knocked the object lesson out of the park! Turns out, she had a heart to heart with God and said she wanted to give more than she had been to the lessons and she delivered!
Then, the next week she taught the bible lesson. This was last night. I was scrolling through the pictures that go along with her lesson and reading along in the script when, all of a sudden, she went off script! Imagine my horror! Until I realized, she knew the story. She had studied way beyond the script in the lesson and didn’t need to look down at it, she knew the story. Details about the story even I hadn’t caught.
I have learned very quickly that I need to trust my volunteers! God brought them on board for a reason. When they don’t teach the lesson the way I would, I need to bite my tongue, step back, and let them find their style. Afterwards, I can offer suggestions to help make them better, in fact, I should offer suggestions, but I need to give them their time to shine.
Ultimately, I hope that this mother will take hold of the entire Wednesday kids program, but if that is going to happen, I have to trust her to lead. If I am going to be more effective, I have to be willing to turn over the reigns. Sure, I need to make an effort to pour into those volunteers lives and equip them and resource them and train them, but I also have to trust that if God wants them to be a part of HIS MINISTRY, He will take care of the rest.
Sam Luce has a great post on building your team over at http://samluce.com/?p=2764.