I have to confess… as I’ve served as a women’s leader, I have “picked people for positions” at times, and “prayed people into position” other times. Truly, the second option is so much more effective. Today’s guest blogger Becky Badry, founder of Women in Leadership Coaching, shares some great thoughts and a strategic process for discovering and engaging leaders in ministry.
As a Leadership Coach I am often asked, “How do I find GREAT leaders?” Simple answer? You CAN’T! Unfortunately, we can’t go online to Leaders R Us and in one click purchase a ready-made-leader-in-a-box. Oh. . .and I also need overnight delivery, please.
Here are a few very practical steps you can begin to implement today that will help any leader navigate the challenging task of finding qualified, passionate, and loyal volunteers.
Pray – Not as a last resort, but as a first step. God has been preparing the heart of your potential volunteer through their life experiences and He will orchestrate the timing for their readiness. Pray. Wait. Watch. Where God guides He always provides.
Recruit with Intentionality – A better way to phrase the initial question is, “How do I identify potential leaders?” Do you know who or what you are looking for? Number one on my leadership list is a SERVANT’S heart. Jesus said, “. . . whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant.” (Mark 10:43)
Define leadership – Make a list of the qualifications, values, personality traits and skills that you believe are needed for the individual you are looking for. If you don’t know who you are looking for, how will you know when you find them? This list will be different for all organizations and must be contextualized to your particular needs.
ASK – Personality studies reveal that 3 of the 4 prominent personality types are passive in nature. Therefore, it should be obvious that 75% of the individuals in our churches or organizations are passive and are waiting to be ASKED to serve.
Interview. . . yes, it is ok to interview volunteers for ministry positions. The work of the church is God’s work and we should view placing the right person in the right position seriously. For years, I recruited with two qualifications in mind; a warm, and breathing body. Thankfully, I have since learned the Holy Spirit has called, gifted and inspires His children to fulfill the work of the ministry. I am His helper who guides His children to discover their divine design and unique place of service.
Date – In their book, The New Breed, Understanding and Equipping the 21st Century Volunteer, Jonathan and Thomas McKee suggest using a DATING model for introducing potential volunteers to ministry opportunities. Don’t “pop the question” on the first date; Keep a little black book for potential leaders who may not be ready or who may not fit the current position.
Invest with Intentionality. Do you have a strategic plan for leadership development? GREAT leaders are made; they don’t come in a box. I enjoy reading biographies of GREAT leaders. I find that each one shares at least one story about how another individual impacted their life and played an integral part in how they achieved success. The leader that I am today can be attributed to God’s grace, individuals who by formal and informal means have invested in me, and my daily choice to be a life-long learner and a discoverer of God’s divine design for me. What is the leadership development plan you have yourself and for those you lead?
It has been said, You are not a leader unless you have followers. As a leader, you have been given the privilege to influence, impact and leave a lasting impression on your followers to become the leader God’s desire for them to be. You can be a leader to GREAT leaders.
Becky Badry is former Director of Women’s Resources and Missions Mobilization for the Colorado Baptist Convention. She is also a LifeWay Ministry Multiplier. In addition to serving Colorado Baptists as a missionary with the North American Mission Board, Becky has been a minister’s wife for over 30 years. She and her husband have served churches in Oklahoma, Georgia, and Colorado and are currently members of Riverside Baptist Church, Denver, CO. Becky has a passion to see minister’s wives network and find the encouragement they need to faithfully fulfill God’s call in their lives. Becky has completed her Women’s Ministry Certification at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, and is a graduate of Golden Gate Theological Seminary with a Master of Arts in Educational Leadership. She was also the recipient of the Educational Leadership Service in Ministry Award in 2010. Becky and Jay have two sons, Jeremy and Justin, and a wonderful daughter –in-law, Rochelle. Becky is also the founder and director of Women in Leadership Coaching .