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Handling Volunteer Conflicts Well

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Occasionally, I feel moved to make a post that’s about my experience with church, and not only about technology. I hope you don’t mind. I’m feeling conflicted because last week, I had been asked to help out with our kid’s ministry on Sunday and my husband and I agreed to both help in the preschool room where two out of three of our kids are on Sunday morning. The kids are always thrilled to have us help out in “their world.”

But then, while at MOPS on Friday morning, our worship pastor implored me to sing on the worship team on Sunday because they were short a singer. I felt conflicted because I already agreed to serve in one area of ministry, then was asked to serve in another. This got me thinking about tracking volunteer ministry at church.

Is there a way to track volunteer positions that a person has agreed to in church management software? For instance, say when the children’s ministry director nails down volunteers, she visits their profile in the ChMS program and checks off that they are helping. Then, when another ministry leader wants to ask someone for help, they would pull up the contact and see that the person is already serving on Sunday morning and isn’t available. I know many of the ChMS applications out there must have this capability, but does anyone use it?

To me, technology is only as good as it helps people become more efficient and effective, so if this slows down the ministry process, or takes away the organic element when the Holy Spirit moves you to think of a specific person to ask to serve, then it’s pointless.

So what did I do in my situation? I texted my husband to ask him if he thought I should sing instead, he replied “what about serving in the preschool room?” and I replied that he should still work, but I could sing. Then, my soar throat continued to worsen throughout the day (after I had already said yes to singing) and I had to bail on singing  that evening and hope I would feel good enough to help in the kid’s room on Sunday (I did).

So technology aside, the lesson I learned was to honor my commitments – even if there are fewer vocalists than parents who can help three to five-year-olds learn about Christ. Both are equally important in God’s eyes. Thank goodness that God deals with my gracefully and allows me to learn the lessons He wants me to, just at the right time.

How about you? Can you share a way that you’ve felt conflicted about ministry choices and/or how your church involves technology in the volunteer process?

Lauren Hunter
Lauren Hunterhttps://laurenhunter.net
Lauren Hunter is a writer who loves the big picture of God’s journey we are all on together. In 2007, she founded ChurchTechToday, a website for pastors and church leaders to harness technology to improve ministry. Married to her high school sweetheart, Lauren lives in Northern California with her husband and their four children. Her latest book is Leaving Christian Science: 10 Stories of New Faith in Jesus Christ. She can be found online at https://laurenhunter.net.

2 COMMENTS

  1. Lauren – interesting post because this aspect affects my wife and I as well. She is one of the childrens leaders but she also sings – fortunately there are several senior leaders for the children and they are rota’d accordingly. She then makes herself available to sing *only* on the Sundays when I am also there (I work shifts) and can be with / respond to the children as necessary.

    However, she had the same urge to sing instead of her other commitments but her professional life and skill set is such that her and children are something that will always go together. Your end result of honouring your first committment is the right way to go though.

  2. Lauren – interesting post because this aspect affects my wife and I as well. She is one of the childrens leaders but she also sings – fortunately there are several senior leaders for the children and they are rota’d accordingly. She then makes herself available to sing *only* on the Sundays when I am also there (I work shifts) and can be with / respond to the children as necessary.

    However, she had the same urge to sing instead of her other commitments but her professional life and skill set is such that her and children are something that will always go together. Your end result of honouring your first committment is the right way to go though.

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