HELPING EVERYONE PLAY: wORKING WITH VOLUNTEERS
Things have changed!
Some time when we Boomers weren't paying close attention, the world of volunteering and serving took some dramatic turns that we need to understand and keep up with in order to step up to future ministry.
Some of the things I began to notice were that:
A few other tidbits for leaders:
And of course:
Rule #1 for Ministry: Never Lose Your Sense of Humour!
A SHORT WORKSHOP OUTLINE
We all have skills, talents, gifts, spiritual gifts to discover and use.
Some of them are found in Romans, 1Corinthians and Ephesians. Sometimes we need to try things out in this process. People need grace as they try new things if they do not sense a specific equipping and invitation from God. On the other hand, some things just need to get done! We can find satisfaction and fun in doing pretty much anything for Jesus and with His people. A relational approach will likely get the best response on a cleaning day or a packing/moving day
An icebreaker using the cards from a kids matching game works well to bring across this point. A group of cards with various animals or other figures on them can be given out using 2, 3 or 4 of each design. Participants then have to find the person(s) who have the same card they are holding. If you can find them, there are cards that are cut as puzzle pieces. Regular large puzzle pieces or other materials can be used -- kids' materials can add fun.
The important thing is to bring out the idea that we all fit somewhere with no exceptions and how good it is for all involved when we are finding places of service where we fit.
In a Kingdom culture everyone fits somewhere and can contribute.
Sometimes it seems faster and easier to do a thing alone -- but that's not what it's all about.
Sorry: iron sharpens iron applies here! It can be a great way to develop the fruit of the Spirit...It's part of God's plan for Jesus' disciples.
There are lots of group activities to bring out the idea that many tasks are better undertaken by a group and some of the key dynamics that make for an effective team.
My current favourite involves making a set of about 6 12-18 inch pieces of vinyl gutter, one for each participant. A tennis ball is used and the challenge is to line up your team across the designated space and pass the ball from one piece of gutter to the next without touching it until you get to the other side. Everyone must take their turn. When the ball hits the floor the team has to start over. An added challenge is to not allow any talking.
Having the leadership team do this task in front of others adds to the exercise.
This exercise lends itself to a discussion of the importance of communication, clarity of the task at hand, understanding each others' strengths and weaknesses etc. to an effective team. There are some tasks that are best undertaken by a group even though it may take longer and we can be tempted to just go on our own.
In a Kingdom culture, interdependence is a strong value.
My story changes the big story
Our stories are woven together like a tapestry. If my thread is missing it does make a difference in my life, in the lives of others and in what God is going to do.
We are fortunate to have a real live writer in our midst who does a great job of kicking off this activity. Depending on your group, pick 5 volunteers ahead of time who you think will be able to manage the task. A first person starts to tell a story -- you can give a theme or let the first speaker choose one. The second and then third etc. volunteers in turn add to the story taking it into whatever direction they wish. The first speaker would need a minute or so and the others less than a minute unless they are very creative.
In a Kingdom culture the story of each one makes a difference in what God is doing.