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The Volunteer Church: Mobilizing Your Congregation for Growth and Effectiveness

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Working with volunteers can be a rewarding and exciting experience—for them as well as for those who recruit, train, and maintain their services. However, if church leaders are honest, they know there are times that it can be frustrating. They know that volunteers are essential, vital to creating growth and new ministries, and are the key to introducing youth and children Working with volunteers can be a rewarding and exciting experience—for them as well as for those who recruit, train, and maintain their services. However, if church leaders are honest, they know there are times that it can be frustrating. They know that volunteers are essential, vital to creating growth and new ministries, and are the key to introducing youth and children to Jesus Christ. They have the welcoming smiles at the door, they serve the food, pray for needs, stuff bulletins, organize missions trips, and on and on. If they want to see their church grow, it must be a volunteering church, a church that runs on volunteers. The Volunteer Church was developed out of the ministry of Leith Anderson at Wooddale Church in Eden Prairie, Minnesota, where a vital and vibrant volunteer program boasting 4,000 participants grew under the leadership of Jill Fox. The principles and training have been applied in churches of all sizes and denominations in seminar settings across the country as well as at Wooddale Church. In The Volunteer Church, leaders will Learn how to effectively recruit and train volunteers Discover how to build sustainable, long-lasting ministries led by volunteers Find methods for encouraging and maintaining your volunteers for success Know how to build teams of volunteers Understand how to find the right service that fits a willing volunteer If you lead a church and are exhausted by the lack of volunteer help, or if you are a volunteer and dream of adding numbers to your team, this book is for you. If you are on a church staff and know that a new ministry is needed but volunteers and training are required to make it happen, here you will find the resources to recruit, inspire, train, and maintain the church’s most vital workforce.


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Working with volunteers can be a rewarding and exciting experience—for them as well as for those who recruit, train, and maintain their services. However, if church leaders are honest, they know there are times that it can be frustrating. They know that volunteers are essential, vital to creating growth and new ministries, and are the key to introducing youth and children Working with volunteers can be a rewarding and exciting experience—for them as well as for those who recruit, train, and maintain their services. However, if church leaders are honest, they know there are times that it can be frustrating. They know that volunteers are essential, vital to creating growth and new ministries, and are the key to introducing youth and children to Jesus Christ. They have the welcoming smiles at the door, they serve the food, pray for needs, stuff bulletins, organize missions trips, and on and on. If they want to see their church grow, it must be a volunteering church, a church that runs on volunteers. The Volunteer Church was developed out of the ministry of Leith Anderson at Wooddale Church in Eden Prairie, Minnesota, where a vital and vibrant volunteer program boasting 4,000 participants grew under the leadership of Jill Fox. The principles and training have been applied in churches of all sizes and denominations in seminar settings across the country as well as at Wooddale Church. In The Volunteer Church, leaders will Learn how to effectively recruit and train volunteers Discover how to build sustainable, long-lasting ministries led by volunteers Find methods for encouraging and maintaining your volunteers for success Know how to build teams of volunteers Understand how to find the right service that fits a willing volunteer If you lead a church and are exhausted by the lack of volunteer help, or if you are a volunteer and dream of adding numbers to your team, this book is for you. If you are on a church staff and know that a new ministry is needed but volunteers and training are required to make it happen, here you will find the resources to recruit, inspire, train, and maintain the church’s most vital workforce.

30 review for The Volunteer Church: Mobilizing Your Congregation for Growth and Effectiveness

  1. 5 out of 5

    CrabbyPatty

    A good discussion of the art and science of developing a volunteer culture within a church, how to recruit volunteers and train and care for them. I felt the first 25% of the book was too long and focused on the theological, while the remainder of the book was filled with good practical information on how to effectively find and develop volunteers. The appendices are very helpful.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Bradley

    The Volunteer Church is an excellent and accessible guidebook for church leaders on how to create a volunteer culture in their church and lead volunteers. This book fills a gap in education for many pastors who have substantial training in theology, preaching, and history (all important subjects!) but have not been well instructed in practical matters of recruiting, training, and retaining volunteers. The book excels in the first two chapters where it points out two things that should be obvious The Volunteer Church is an excellent and accessible guidebook for church leaders on how to create a volunteer culture in their church and lead volunteers. This book fills a gap in education for many pastors who have substantial training in theology, preaching, and history (all important subjects!) but have not been well instructed in practical matters of recruiting, training, and retaining volunteers. The book excels in the first two chapters where it points out two things that should be obvious but can be so easily overlooked. First, it is vital for leaders to understand that people really do want to volunteer. Leaders can be crippled by feeling guilty for trying to recruit volunteers if they do not understand that volunteering in some capacity is in the heart of every believer. Second, the book rightly points out that churches are volunteer based. The church is the body of Christ and each member has a role to play. Pastors can too easily fall prey to thinking that they need to be constantly on the move in order to accomplish everything that must be accomplished for the church, without stepping back to see and make use of the gifts God has placed in the church. The book also provides thoughtful and helpful advice for recruiting volunteers, especially on the topic of finding the right fit for a volunteer. While no one can master leadership of volunteers simply by reading a book, those who read The Volunteer Church and put its principles into practice will be on their way to unlocking the volunteer potential of their church and establishing a volunteer culture where God’s work can be multiplied and the burden of ministry can be shared.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Dennis Thurman

    Real Help! I found this book easy to read and practical to apply. There are inspirational stories and many helpful applications. It is a training manual for one of the most important areas in the church— volunteers. I wish I had such a resource many years ago. I commend it highly!

  4. 4 out of 5

    JT Stead

    There was some helpful things in the book, but I am very suspicious of pragmatism and this book is filled with it. All methodology and no theology. I would recommend starting with 9marks by Mark Dever.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Elijah Beltz

    Simple, concise, clear, and practical. The book gives you scripturally supported practical advice for equipping volunteers. It's nothing amazing, but it accomplishes exactly what the title says. Simple, concise, clear, and practical. The book gives you scripturally supported practical advice for equipping volunteers. It's nothing amazing, but it accomplishes exactly what the title says.

  6. 5 out of 5

    George P.

    Leith Anderson and Jill Fox, The Volunteer Church: Mobilizing Your Congregation for Growth and Effectiveness (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2015). Paperback | Kindle _____, Volunteering: A Guide to Serving in the Body of Christ (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2015). Paperback | Kindle “At their core churches are volunteer organizations,” write Leith Anderson and Jill Fox. The issue, then, is not whether a church has ministry volunteers but how well it mobilizes volunteers for ministry. The Volunteer Leith Anderson and Jill Fox, The Volunteer Church: Mobilizing Your Congregation for Growth and Effectiveness (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2015). Paperback | Kindle _____, Volunteering: A Guide to Serving in the Body of Christ (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2015). Paperback | Kindle “At their core churches are volunteer organizations,” write Leith Anderson and Jill Fox. The issue, then, is not whether a church has ministry volunteers but how well it mobilizes volunteers for ministry. The Volunteer Church offers guidance that will help church leaders: effectively recruit and train volunteers; build sustainable, long-lasting ministries led by volunteers; encourage and maintain volunteers; build volunteer teams; and find the right ministry fit for volunteers. Anderson and Fox were colleagues at Wooddale Church in Eden Prairie, Minnesota—he as pastor, she as director of the Volunteer Development Ministry. In addition to being biblically sound, the advice they offer in this book is undergirded by pastoral experience. If you are a pastor or church leader looking for help improving your volunteer ministry, this short book is a good place to start. The book’s two appendixes—“Volunteer Development Training” and “Your Plan for Volunteer Development”—are especially helpful. They provide bullet points and discussion questions leaders can use to plan an effective volunteer development program. Anderson and Fox’s Volunteering is a companion to The Volunteer Church, written primarily to address the questions volunteers have about signing up for ministry in the local church. Chapter 2, “Finding Your Fit,” is especially useful. It helps potential volunteers assess their spiritual gifts and talents and skills to more closely align who they are with what they do. ----- P.S. If you found my review helpful, please vote “Yes” on my Amazon.com review page.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Kyle Robertson

    This book is well written and not a difficult read. While nothing in it is groundbreaking, it does offer good points for identifying specific individual spiritual gifts, as well as the best ways to utilize volunteers in your church. A church in itself is primarily composed of volunteers that help it survive and thrive. Seeking out and retaining volunteers in your church can be very difficult, but this book discusses ways to avoid pitfalls and burnout. I would recommend it to church pastors, wors This book is well written and not a difficult read. While nothing in it is groundbreaking, it does offer good points for identifying specific individual spiritual gifts, as well as the best ways to utilize volunteers in your church. A church in itself is primarily composed of volunteers that help it survive and thrive. Seeking out and retaining volunteers in your church can be very difficult, but this book discusses ways to avoid pitfalls and burnout. I would recommend it to church pastors, worship leaders, youth and children pastors, and of course volunteer leaders. I received this as a free ARC from Zondervan on NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Kris Browning

    An excellent, practical, and applicable guide to improving volunteerism in a local church.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Jonny Hale

  10. 4 out of 5

    Mu$ab

  11. 4 out of 5

    JR Bennett

    Great principles on volunteer management in a church setting. Focused on the experiences of a mega-church pastor but applicable to many other scenarios. I appreciate Leith's desire to honor and recognize the role of servants in the church. Great principles on volunteer management in a church setting. Focused on the experiences of a mega-church pastor but applicable to many other scenarios. I appreciate Leith's desire to honor and recognize the role of servants in the church.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Amanda

  13. 4 out of 5

    Chris Galarneau

  14. 5 out of 5

    Jake

  15. 5 out of 5

    Scott Diane

  16. 4 out of 5

    Christine J

  17. 4 out of 5

    Magda David

  18. 5 out of 5

    Andrew Brown

  19. 5 out of 5

    Michael Heyd

  20. 5 out of 5

    Sandra Agnew

  21. 5 out of 5

    Esther

  22. 5 out of 5

    Garren King

  23. 5 out of 5

    Tasha

  24. 5 out of 5

    Abisai Soto

  25. 4 out of 5

    Jay Massey

  26. 5 out of 5

    Philip Worrall

  27. 5 out of 5

    Sue Casper

  28. 4 out of 5

    Amanda

  29. 4 out of 5

    Jill

  30. 4 out of 5

    Marion

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