In an effort to fill schedules and staff ministry, church leaders will throw people into ministry hoping it will work. They try pleas from the stage, bulletin announcements, and even endless personnel committees trying to get ministry staffed.
Stop and ask – who do you really want on the team? Warm bodies don’t move the ministry forward. What you need on your team isn’t just MORE people. You need FAT people! That’s right, when looking for new volunteers and potential leaders you need to look for some people who are FAITHFUL, AVAILABLE, and TEACHABLE – FAT people! When we recruit FAT people to ministry, the team will function well and thrive!
Why FAT people?
1 Corinthians 4:2 says: Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful. Being faithful is not an option. In fact the word is rooted in the same word as trust. A faithful person is a trustworthy person.
So how do you spot faithful people? Just watch them. Are they on time? Do they do what’s asked of them? Do they complete their tasks on time? Can you count on them without having to follow up and check on them? Do they give financially on a consistent basis? When you observe these behaviors they are faithful.
Some people would do anything – if they weren’t so busy. You may see a potential superstar volunteer but they are frequently out for ballgames, fishing, vacation, meetings, work, or any number of things. There is nothing wrong with any of this. Everyone needs relaxation, family time and they have jobs that have to get done. But a ministry team needs the team members present!
In Luke 14, Jesus tells a parable about a man who invited people to a banquet. In verse 18 the bible says “But they all alike began to make excuses…” Their problem wasn’t that they didn’t like the man throwing the banquet. They simply weren’t available. They had something more important to do. Your ministry needs people who are available.
In John Maxwell’s book 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership he references a study that shows there is a relationship between growth and the leadership. In the study they found that “’It is the capacity to develop and improve their skills that distinguish leaders from their followers.’ Successful leaders are learners.” When you have people on your team that are set in their ways and not open to new ideas and change, your ministry will stagnate. But when people remain teachable they are adaptable and ministry will more forward.
If you will look for FAT people to join your ministry team, and teach them to be on the lookout for other FAT people, you have the beginning of a sustainable leadership development and ministry deployment system in any organization.