You're All Fired

It was terrifying. Thinking that the next Sunday I might be moving chairs with Melyssa (our admin and my sanity) and wondering how I was going to be able to run this large ministry with no one volunteering.
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The best thing I ever did as the director of operations was fire all our volunteers.

Literally.

I sent out a call to all current and former volunteers at STATUS that I could get my hands on. We sat down in a room one Sunday night and I thanked them for all their hard work and told them that the impression their time and talents have made on furthering the Kingdom were immeasurable. And then I shared our vision for operations and the direction we wanted to go as a ministry. I told them of my desire to run our ministry with volunteers that loved being there and loved loving people. I shared my pain in knowing that some of them were continuing to volunteer because they didn’t know anything else—even though it wasn’t what God had called them to in this season of their lives. I told them I was committed to serving them to the best of my ability as a pastor and equipping them to do the job they felt called to do within our community and that I wanted to search with them to find their perfect fit when it came to serving the body of STATUS.

And then I told them that starting right now, STATUS had no operations volunteers. We were starting new, and that meant that if they felt called to continue volunteering, they would need to fill out the piece of paper that was under their chairs and turn it in to us. And if they didn’t fill it out, they could walk away cleanly, with no hard feelings, and knowing that they were loved and appreciated for their efforts up until that point. This simple act of filling out that piece of paper was their commitment to contributing to the volunteer team that would include honesty, passion, health, and love.

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It was terrifying. Thinking that the next Sunday I might be moving chairs with Melyssa (our admin and my sanity) and wondering how I was going to be able to run this large ministry with no one volunteering. At the end of the night I was holding about a dozen pieces of paper with the new volunteers that said they were willing to go on that journey with us. It was a blessing and a blow at the same time. The blessing came from God reassuring me that He has this ministry in His hands and will provide. A blow because I was talking to a room of 50 people and I only had a dozen that wanted to be there. The blow was purely to my ego, and was something that needed to go.

I often wonder how much of my job is ego-motivated and how far I’m willing to go when God calls me to a leap of faith. Those leaps never result in me falling because of God’s unrelenting provision but each time I’m called to leap, I can’t help but question. How often do we question, question, question … and how often does God simply respond with “trust Me”? His patience knows no bounds, and His provision is unmatched. What would it look like if we stopped trying so desperately to control things and started leaping every time the Spirit prompts us?

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