5 Low(er) Risk Ways to Release New Volunteer Leaders in Your Church This Weekend

“If you are faithful in little things, you will be faithful in large ones. But if you are dishonest in little things, you won’t be honest with greater responsibilities.” – Luke 16:10

Finding and releasing volunteer leaders is an essential part of every church leader’s role. However, we often feel paralyzed because we don’t know if we can trust new leaders. A few summers ago my parents visited a church where the pastor did everything in the service: greeted people at the front door, led the music, did announcements, gave the children’s message and the main message. This pastor is limiting the growth of his church because he’s bottlenecking everything to go through him. We all need to find ways to release other people into leadership! Here are some basic tasks you could give to a new volunteer leader to “test them out” and see what they can handle.

  • newleaderInvite Someone to Evaluate // A great way to engage someone who you might want to move into leadership is to ask them to evaluate your weekend services. If you already have a regular evaluation meeting, invite them to attend. (If you don’t, start one up!) You could also have a quick weekly meeting using a free conference call service and invite some potential leaders into that. Hearing people’s feedback is a great way to build trust with them … and it’s a pathway to start handing them responsibility!
  • Give Up a Team Huddle // Do your teams meet for a few minutes before each shift to talk about the vision for the day and to pray together? (They should!) Find a leader in the group and ask them to lead the team huddle this weekend. This is a low-risk task to hand over because it’s an “insider crowd” who will be supportive of the new leader. Plus, it’s a great way to indicate to the rest of the group that you see this individual as a leader among them.
  • Engage a Research Partner // Invite a potential leader at your church to help you pull together some research for an upcoming message. Ask if they would be interested in doing some research for the topic at hand and then go out for lunch to talk about it. You’ll multiply your time and get some new ideas for the message, and they’ll feel great when you use some of their content!
  • Do Some Calling // Ask a potential leader if they would help you call some first-time guests who’ve attended your church in the last couple of weeks. Put together a basic outline to set the bar for the interaction. Meet before they start the calls and inject some vision into the conversation. Then ask them to report back in a few days with what they learned about the guests!
  • Scheduling Team Members // Do you manage a roster of volunteers? This is a great ongoing function to pass along to an upcoming leader! Ask them to make sure that the right people serve every weekend for the next few months and request that they report back to you if there are any problems. Make sure to outline what you need them to do in a one-page document so it’s clear what sort of interactions you want them to have with the team.

I’d love to hear your ideas on some simple tasks you’ve given to potential leaders to see them in action! Leave your ideas in the comments.


Leave a Response

Rich Birch
Rich Birch is one of the early multi-site church pioneers in North America. He led the charge in helping The Meeting House in Toronto to become the leading multi-site church in Canada with over 5,000+ people in 18 locations. In addition, he served on the leadership team of Connexus Church in Ontario, a North Point Community Church Strategic Partner. He has also been a part of the lead team at Liquid Church - a 5 location multisite church serving the Manhattan facing suburbs of New Jersey. Liquid is known for it’s innovative approach to outreach and community impact. Rich is passionate about helping churches reach more people, more quickly through excellent execution.His latest book Church Growth Flywheel: 5 Practical Systems to Drive Growth at Your Church is an Amazon bestseller and is design to help your church reach more people in your community.