By Carey Nieuwhof
You can’t pay everyone for what they do in your church or ministry. You can’t pay all your preschool volunteers, all your small group leaders, all your worship team members, and so on. Even for those who are in paid positions, money isn’t always the greatest motivator. You’ve likely heard stories of people who leave their job and go elsewhere for lesser pay because they didn’t like their boss or because their job took too much time away from their family.
So how do you pay people in non-financial currencies? Here are three ways to motivate the volunteers, leaders, and staff in your church or ministry.
Simply say, “Thank you.” Most people aren’t thanked for what they do. Your volunteers showed up to serve. Your parking lot attendants greeted people and directed guests. Your worship team practiced at home throughout the week. Your parents served at the check-in desk for kids. Whatever it is, thank them for doing it. If you don’t say so in person, send them a card or an email.
Also help them connect the dots as you hear stories of the impact they’ve had. “A new family visited our church last week during the rain showers. When you helped them from their car to inside the church with an umbrella, it left a favorable impression on them. Thank you for serving on our parking lot team.”
Equip and empower your team. Allow them to make decisions. If you have the right people doing the right thing and you’re clear about the mission, vision, and strategy, then they’ll do better things than you can do.
Choose trust. If you’re suspicious, your team won’t feel confident in their responsibilities. If you trust people, then they’ll thrive. It communicates, “You’re smart. You’re intelligent. I will be here to help and support you, but you’ve got this. I trust you.”
Whether people ever draw a salary or not, paying them with gratitude, empowerment, and trust motivates them. Then this culture becomes contagious and starts to multiply, creating a greater kingdom impact through your church.
Check out Carey’s exclusive Ministry Grid leadership courses here.