For those who serve and work in church, the Holiday's can often be more stressful and busy than those attending our services. There are so many who look forward to celebrating of the birth of Christ at the worship services and activities your church works tirelessly to provide. I'm praying that in the preparations, you, your staff, and volunteers are able to have moments of rest and awe. Often, as we work to make a sacred space for those attending to recognize and recall the awe of God coming as a man... a baby... to meet us where we are, drawing us to Himself, to restore and redeem, we often can find ourselves facilitating, but not fixating. I pray that as leaders, you take time to reorient your gaze to the Star of Bethlehem that points to the King...let it guide you by the night of the distractions - whether good or bad. I pray, also, that you, as the angels did for the Shepherds and the Wise Men, do the same for your staff and volunteers. Help them to behold the beauty in the busy.... to see Jesus in the serving.
In terms of preparations, some things to consider in support of the volunteers:
- a little gift of gratitude: Pinterest has so many easy and inexpensive ideas (i.e. mason jars of cappuccino mix); handwritten "thank you" notes.
- emailed devotionals specifically to encourage them in their serving and ask how you can be praying for them.
- remind them (where there are multiple services), that they need to serve one and attend one.
- ask if there is anything they need to support their service (extra refreshment supplies, another volunteer in the parking lot, etc.)
- remind volunteers to walk with, rather than simply give directions to, the guests to help them get to the bathroom, nursery, etc., especially if it's the guests' first time.
- if the volunteer isn't sure if the guest is new, remind them that they can ask, "Great to see you! How long have you been attending?"
- give them a heads up to any information that volunteers and/or guests would need to know (worship service times, offering changes in the service, giving opportunities, service opportunities, etc.)
-- empower the volunteers to make decisions that will help the guest in situations that arise. (i.e. if a guest is coughing, the volunteers should feel empowered to offer the guest a cup of water and/or a mint; if a large group of guests arrive, empower the volunteer to get them extra seating so they can sit together; etc.)
- make an announcement to the congregation about the opportunity they have to serve this Christmas season with Guest Services!
-- if you get new volunteers, partner them with a mentor in the area you place them so they feel confident and equipped.
- remind volunteers to be flexible! We can make our plans, but stuff happens. (i.e. guests who come into the service late, need to be helped and attended to to get them a seat with joy and grace, not shame).
Please let me know of anything I can help with!
Yall are doing incredibly significant Kingdom work and I’m honored to be associated with yall!!
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.