“I can’t believe you let him greet people at the front door of your church! Do you know what he does on Friday nights?”
Family Ministry requires a background check. Group Life requires an application. Care Network requires an interview. Not just anyone can volunteer in these areas. It’s no secret, however, that Guest Services makes it easy for people to volunteer. Just about anyone can be a Guest Services volunteer, and that can cause tension.
Not every volunteer role should be open to just anyone, but we believe there should be some entry level roles for those new to church or new to volunteering. Why do we believe Guest Services is a good team on which to have entry level volunteer roles?
- Volunteers are not relating to or directly working with kids.
- Volunteers are not leading others spiritually.
- Volunteers are not leading other volunteers. Our Guest Services' Team Leaders, however, are volunteers who lead other volunteers. They go through apprenticing and an interview and have specific qualifications (i.e. experience, church membership) to serve in that role. Not every Guest Services' role is an entry level role.
By allowing almost anyone to serve within Guest Services, it creates a tension we have to manage. What if a volunteer, who represents our church, is living a lifestyle during the week that does not line up with the values of our church? It’s a tension we’re okay with. Why do we see this as a tension to manage instead of a problem to solve? If he is actively volunteering,…
- He’s not at the lake, playing golf, watching TV, etc. on Sunday morning. We want church to be irresistible and his choice to be here is one indication that we’re accomplishing that goal.
- He’s identified himself with our church and our Guest Services' team. There is something appealing, engaging, and helpful about the church and this team that makes him want to be here!
- We can influence him. If he’s on the team, he’s giving us permission to speak into his life. If we become aware of a lifestyle concern, we can have a conversation with him.
- We can invest in him. If he’s on the team, he is building relationships with others who can pour into his life.
- We can lead him into a growing relationship with Jesus Christ. That is, after all, our mission with every person who walks through our doors.
Let’s be honest, he’s not the only volunteer in the church making poor decisions and representing our church poorly. People are messy. No one is as clean as they appear. Instead of communicating to him that he cannot be a part of what is happening at our church, we want to give him appropriate opportunities to take a step into our church. Some Guests Services' volunteer roles give him that opportunity.
(This is a guest post written by my colleague, Casey Ross, and used with his permission. Casey is the Director of Ministry Services at North Point Community Church.)