JANUARY 31


At exactly this time 8 years ago I got into a car and drove to our church building to deliver the news that my mom and dad, our pastors, were listed on the manifesto for a plane that crashed off the coast of California. I can remember it like it was yesterday.

My wife captured some thoughts about today here.

Thank you to those who still remember. No matter what I do, or how I frame it this day is filled with reflections, tears and memories of great joy. I was really blessed with a great family for 29 years.

The people I am most proud of since that day are my wife, she’s become all I need in a person; my sister, she’s become a fantastic woman; and our church, we’ve never let the tragedy define us, simply let it propel us to our purpose. I couldn’t be more grateful; and yet, I’d love one more conversation…

BUILDING A MILITIA OF VOLUNTEERS (2/2)

By Jeff Knight on Volunteers

Ask, WHAT needs to be Consistently Executed?
Sometimes we can communicate what is important, but we neglect to enforce the objectives. What begins as a really good plan can end with something completely different because there was no expectation, procedure or process. If a leader wants consistency from volunteers procedures must be defined.

I’ve discovered in my years of working with volunteers that clarifying the objective in writing is the only way to achieve consistent execution. For instance, years ago I was a Team Leader with Teen Mania. We were given a manual to read, books to reinforce what was in the manual and then trained for 2 solid days on what was expected of us. At the end of that experience I felt like I was ready to consistently execute the expectations.

If you find yourself leading in a volunteer organization do what is absolutely necessary to develop consistency. Write the manual, host training weekends; most of all, make sure your volunteers know what is expected of them so they can consistently perform to the highest level. The return they receive will be worth your time times infinity.

Ask, WHAT is UNIQUE?
When I first started volunteering with students at the age of 18 I wanted to imitate the strong leaders around me. Even today when I find myself around strong leaders I want to emulate their strengths because I respect what they possess so much. Nevertheless, excessive emulation can be detrimental.

If you find yourself leading in a volunteer organization it is imperative you allow for volunteers to develop their own leadership skills. I’m not suggesting to minimize objectives or requirements for success, but allowing personality, individual gifting and values to emerge will only benefit the organization in the long run.

At first emulation is a critical component to identifying those who are with the leader, but with time volunteers must begin developing their own leadership. Cloning the leader is not success; Diversity with commonality is success.

Ask, WHERE can we FAIL?
Failure, unmet expectations, learning experiences, call it what you want, it will happen with volunteers and when it does, how I respond is vital to health and growth. Every volunteer, not one of them will do it on purpose.

A healthy culture for volunteers is a culture where failure is cared for as an asset. How can failure be a positive?

BUILDING A MILITIA OF VOLUNTEERS (1/2)

By Pastor Jeff Knight on Volunteers

Ministry at The Rock Church cannot exist without volunteers. Every week I observe volunteers graciously giving their best. I’ve asked myself often, “What makes a great volunteer?” I mean, if we can’t do church without them, then how do we build them?

I think building a culture around volunteers is the first priority. When there is an atmosphere conducive to strong volunteers that is exactly what the organization will have: Strong Volunteers.

Ask, WHAT is CENTRAL?

Then share it with everyone. Volunteers need to know what is important. There is nothing worse than serving in an organization doing menial tasks that do not seem to be linked to the bigger picture. Leaders must spend time with their volunteers to communicate what is important. It might be easy to accidentally neglect a volunteer custodian because the facility is always clean, but recognizing how every effort links to the big picture is crucial for a successful volunteer organization.

If you find yourself leading in a volunteer driven organization take the time to communicate what is important to every volunteer. NO task is menial; there are only menial leaders who don’t recognize the importance of every task.

Ask, WHAT needs to be Consistently Executed?

Sometimes we can communicate what is important, but we neglect to enforce the objectives. What begins as a really good plan can end with something completely different because there were no expectation, procedure or process. If a leader wants consistency from volunteers, procedures must be defined.

I’ve discovered in my years of working with volunteers that clarifying the objective in writing is the only way to achieve consistent execution. For instance, years ago I was a Team Leader with Teen Mania. We were given a manual to read, books to reinforce what was in the manual and then trained for 2 solid days on what was expected of us. At the end of that experience I felt like I was ready to consistently execute the expectations.

If you find yourself leading in a volunteer organization do what is absolutely necessary to develop consistency. Write the manual, host training weekends; most of all, make sure your volunteers know what is expected of them so they can consistently perform to the highest level. The return they receive will be worth your time times infinity.