People yearn for community, yet there's a volunteer crisis in churches.
I think that is so interesting.
Hospitality Ministries are not the most important aspect of a church, but I would argue they're right up there. They are the frontline of discipleship and they Gospel people all day long.
But, it's not a committee-thing. It's a church-culture thing.
It has to be something that everyone in the church practices, whether they feel they have the "gift" of hospitality or not. It's just like missions: We're not all called to be overseas missionaries, but we're all called to missions.
We're not all called to be official greeters but we are all called to greet and welcome strangers. The Bible says that we were once strangers, so we must not mistreat a stranger (Exodus 22:21). Not that church-goers are out there mistreating all the people, but as people come into the church, we are to attend well to the souls God has put in our path - obviously, that goes for outside of the church walls.
When someone you look up to comes to you and sees something in you and helps you cultivate a gift, that is life changing, yall! That's the whole reason I'm even doing this - a leader in my church saw a gift for Hospitality in me and gave me a chance at being Hospitality Coordinator. LIFE CHANGING and LIFE GIVING! An act as simple as that made me want to stick to and serve for my church family. Then, someone mentored/discipled me in all the ways of Church Hospitality.
Church leaders must seek out other lay leaders in the church who already have a heart for hospitality. Those leaders must mentor/disciple them and equip them to help them lead other volunteers well. Those mentored lay leaders, should then, seek out others to join their Host Team, identify team leaders, and volunteers. Those Team Leaders need to be trained, mentored, and equipped well.
The mentorship process has to be an active one. Allow them to have experiences in leadership. Help them learn and grow. The Barna Group refers to it as "reverse mentorship". It's one of the main things that young adults want in a church. Being intentional with this will increase recruitment and retention of your volunteers. It can also decrease the perception of church staff cliques (it's a thing). If church staff is constantly looking to mentor/disciple others and encouraging their mentees to do the same, people feel included. Katie Beasley true!!!! Totally agree!!! I believe most church leaders mean well, but they haven't been properly mentored either. And it can show in how they relate to volunteers.
Also, budget cuts.
I totally understand churches do more with less but I think mentorship is a free way to invest and get a huge return!How you do varies from church to church.
I'd love to come alongside and help your church do that!
Passionate about Jesus and people, I've added this blog to communicate strategy and thoughts about Biblical Hospitality and The Church as a movement, rather than just people in a building once a week. It seems like everyone is blogging these days, (which is awesome!) and I know that there are always better and more insightful thoughts, but God is leading this so I'm just writing in obedience.