Equipping: resources for action planning options

Understand and appreciate volunteer needs

People who ‘volunteer’ their time and skills have needs that are not always understood or appreciated. Attend or run a course that helps understand these issues with a view to implementing a better understanding of Christian giving in your church.

Do a satisfaction survey

Make a survey or sit down with people with church responsibilities about how they felt they were prepared for the roles or tasks they took on. Here are some sample questions:

  • When you were asked to do this role were you informed about:
    • how it had been done in the past and from whom you could be briefed?
    • any issues with how a task had been done or not done and who had an interest in this? What the current goals are?
    • where the task or role fit into the wider picture of the spiritual life of the Christian community or purpose within the wider community?
    • the time commitment, skills or resources you would need to fulfil the task or role?
    • opportunities for review, feedback and the expected timescale of task or role?
  • When you finished a role or task were you able to:
    • hand over to someone?
    • reflect on the work and its benefit to you and to others?
    • explore opportunities for other ministries?

Complete an equipping audit

You could choose one group or area of ministry who could make a significant difference to your culture of ministry if people were trained or prepared more fully. Sample questions for working this through:

  • What ministries that cause confusion because of a ‘lack of organisation’ or dishearten people?
  • Are there tasks where people feel they can’t leave because there is no one else to do them, thus creating a feeling of being ‘forced’ to continue, needing help to let go?
  • What activities have a significant effect on the links between the church community or wider community even though they might be apparently ‘minor’ tasks? Do people have preparation in doing such tasks with a regard for excellent service? e.g. greeting people at the door of church for events or services? Churchyard appearance? Church opening hours? Participation in the local school?

Implement induction processes

Design and implement an induction process for any new roles that people will undertake. Think through together. Who needs to do the induction? What are the tasks, tools, accountability and expectations on the part of those giving the task and those doing the task?

Be creative with meetings

Busy people can find it increasing difficult to make time for meetings – of any sort. Design a more achievable way of making a ‘meeting’ both short and effective. E.g. as part of Sunday coffee? At a local pub? Standing up? Before or after something else? Skyping or social networking?