The Role of the Volunteer


Does this look familiar for your worship volunteers?

My friend: Want to go to brunch on Sunday?

Me: I can’t. I’m serving at church on Sunday.

Everyone Else: Yes!


In previous posts we’ve discussed our primary role as Worship Leaders. We’ve talked about the role of the Worship Pastor and how they are to cast vision, teach, and protect. Now we get to my favorite; the role of the Volunteer. If you think your role is to be willing and not complain too much you’re wrong. Sticking with my three point pattern I’ve apparently become accustomed to here’s three things you need to know as a volunteer, no matter where you serve:

Follow Well

In our previous discussion we talked about the need for the Worship Pastor to cast vision. The volunteer’s job is to follow the vision, and to follow it well. Do you believe in the vision? If not, you shouldn’t be serving in that ministry. Submission to authority includes our pastors. Follow well. Follow with a humble heart. Follow your leader.  Sometimes we can get self-righteous because of our service. We can begin to demand that our leaders do things the way we want them. Have you ever thought to yourself, “Ugh, I’m here every Sunday AND I’m doing it for free, they should listen to me”? Caution. Caution. Caution. I’m not going to lie, it is beyond easy to catch yourself thinking this way. I totally get it. However, catch yourself before you wreck yourself. There is a difference between assisting in challenging creativity and challenging vision. The vision isn’t yours to change. Let’s be real, the vision came from God. Do you really know better? I’ll say it again, if you can’t get on board with your church’s vision, find somewhere else to go. Follow well.

Be Prepared

Seriously. In whatever ministry you serve, show up prepared. You are the worship volunteer.  If you’re playing keys, be prepared. If you’re on lights, be prepared. If you’re teaching kids in Children’s Church, be prepared. Your leader may get paid for their prep time, but that doesn’t mean that yours is any less essential. Showing up already knowing the material makes your time serving more enjoyable. The times I have been the most prepared have been some of my favorite rehearsal times. When you commit to a ministry position you are committing not just to Sunday but to do the behind the scenes work as well. Oh and trust me, your leader can tell when you haven’t even looked at the set list. Do the work, it is so worth it.

Stretch Yourself

If I was your leader I would have a huge desire for you to stretch yourself. Actually, just by taking the initiative to read this post shows that you are willing to stretch. Volunteers need to continue their growth in their spiritual relationship, their leadership, and their skills. I beg you, please don’t sit complacent just because you’re a volunteer and it’s not your “job”. This work we are talking about is for God, why wouldn’t you want to do it as excellently as He enables? Stretch yourself. Take risks. Ask your leader for a challenge. Learn more. A good leader will want to see you grow. A great leader will give you the opportunity.

A volunteer who follows well, shows up prepared, and commits to growth is a person I not only want on my team but is a person I want to surround myself with. These are the people that make ministry happen. These are the people that become world changers. These are the people I want to hang out with.

[Originally posted on The Church Collective.]


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