Placement of the Member/Leader

Erin is back with us after a time spent working with another ministry.  Erin is a leader among our members.  He is also a quasi-volunteer.  Today Erin came back for choir practice. 

Erin is a high functioning mentally challenged adult who is always eager to help others.  A close friend of Erin’s needed volunteer hours in order to complete a important building  project.  Erin happily gave hours of his time and energy.  We were all excited to see him back.   Without a doubt, I was the one most happy to see him back because I know how much I’ve come to depend on his help.

Erin is a man on whom our program depends because of his cooperative spirit and high energy.  He is part of our prayer ministry, the choir and a greeter.  He helps to tear down and set up our audio equipment.  He helps our immobile members navigate from one place to another.  His car is available for use because his grandmother is one of our volunteer drivers.  And there is so much more.  In short, there is little that is done in Erin’s local program in which he doesn’t participate or help. 

Erin–like many of our members–is part of the Special Gathering Mud Throwing Principle.  We often ask ourselves, “When does a member become a valued volunteer?”  And “how do we successfully reward these men and women who work harder than some of our most loyal volunteers?” 

Felena is another leader in a different county.  She is willing to pick up the phone and contact anyone who is missing from Special Gathering.  When we have new paid staff, we have come to depend on Felena’s gentle help to enable the new staff  learn the nuances of the program she attends.

Next month, I’ll be in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, observing how Joy  Fellowship, another specialized ministry,  trains their member/leadership.  I’ll be attending a four-day leadership conference that includes these servant/leaders who are also members.  The Mud Throwing Principle includes observing what God is successfully doing for others and learning to adapt these techniques to our program.

When we are throwing mud against the wall, we know some of it sticks.  Those of the things we’ve kept in our ministry.  Those are the things that we may be able to export to enpower other specialized ministries.  In addition, the sticking mud of our sister ministries become methods and techniques that are great for us to imitate. 

Are there things that you have found that work for other ministries that have also worked for you?  Have you found that you must adapt most of those initiatives?  Or can you simply transplant them into your unique culture?