I was reading a blog post this week that said 3 of 4 church pastors say the number one challenge in church work it apathy. Apathy is defined as lack of enthusiasm, concern or interest. I started thinking through this and decided what things could help.... Here are my FOUR HELPS.
1. Address it - We have to remind ourselves and those we lead what we see. We need to remind people that we need them to invest in the ministry by giving their time, talents and financial resources. We have to remind them that we don't want something from them, but something for them.
2. Belong to a Community - It is one of the greatest encouraging things to be part of community. When you are in community with others, they help you carry the load. They can also spur you on to greater things and keep you engaged.
3. Create Curiosity - One of the things I think we all have to strive against is just floating. We find something that works great and we want to keep it and sustain it as long as possible and sometimes much longer than the life of it. Cultivate creativity by engaging the most people you can.
4. Deliver the Gospel - Nothing excites people and motivates them more than when they see lives being changed. We must share the gospel with those around us and when we do, God begins to change people When God changes people, there is an amazing motivation that happens.
So as you see, here it is ABCD's of getting rid of apathy
Ministry includes many people which most are volunteers. What is a volunteer? Webster says "one who renders a service or takes part in a transaction while having no legal concern or interest" We have to have volunteers to help us as we minister to our community. What are those things that volunteers can slip into that cause us all more harm than good? Here are just a few
1. When they come unprepared
2. When they have a sense of entitlement
3. When they are subversive and sow discontent
4. When they complain often
5. When they think 50% attendance is highly committed
As leaders most of the people we work with in our ministry are volunteers. It's important that we remember a few things as we minister to them and we allow them to help us minister to others
1. SPUR OF THE MOMENT CHANGES
It's important that we plan well so we can make sure we don't have to make those spur of the moment changes on a regular basis. It should be a shock to most people when we have to do this.
2. THE ONLY CALL AND TEXT VOLUNTEERS RECEIVE ARE WHEN SOMETHING IS NEEDED
We must minister to people and the best way to do that is to communicate well and minister to them as often as you can.
3. WASTING TIME
One of the greatest commodities that people have today is time. We have to make the best use of time and we do this by publicizing start and stop times and stick to them.
4. FORGETTING THEY ARE VOLUNTEERS
It's really easy to become a user of people and sometimes the "same" people. We have to remember that people who are in our ministries are usually full time mothers, employees or students and are gracious to give us the time they give.
5. USING SPIRITUAL WORDS TO MANIPULATE
People love their ministers and pastors and often they respect our leadership. We have to be careful not to use bible words in situations to put pressure on our volunteers. Things like, "submit to my authority" and "God impressed upon me" can be used for the wrong reason.
I am the Worship & Music Catalyst for the Georgia Baptist Mission Board.