The Ministry Ladder – How to Hold Volunteers Accountable

I have been excited to see how well my latest church system seminar – The Ministry Seminar – has been received and how many of you have jumped right into improving the way your churches mobilize volunteers.

One of the parts of this resource that is proving to be helpful is something known as “the ministry ladder,” or the path by which a first time volunteer becomes a regular, growing, Christ-like volunteer.

The idea of the ministry ladder is to think through and plan out the desired steps for volunteers to move forward and grow at your church and the requirements at each rung.

In implementing the ministry ladder at your church, ask yourself this question – at what point on the ladder does a person have to be:

  1. A Christian to go to the next rung?
  2. A church member to go to the next rung?
  3. A tither to go to the next rung?

Rather than trying to compose a “one size fits all” ladder to be applied to the various ministries of your church, each ministry area is responsible to develop and maintain its own ladder.

In The Ministry Seminar I’m able to go further in depth on a couple of specific ministries at The Journey and what their ladders look like.

For each instance, don’t make it too tough to get on the ladder but make it harder to stay.  In other words, try to get as many people as possible serving but increase the required commitment level and accountability as they move up the ladder.

And finally, you don’t want to make it too hard to climb the ladder but you do need to make it clear and don’t compromise (for example, I will allow you to lead a group one semester without being a member but you MUST be a member in order to lead the second time).

P.S. For more on the ministry ladder and other proven principles to maximize your church’s volunteers, click here for The Ministry Seminar.

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About Nelson Searcy

Nelson Searcy is an experienced church planter, coach and church growth strategist, working with churches in over 45 denominations. Nelson is also the Founding and Lead Pastor of The Journey Church, with locations across New York City and in San Francisco and Boca Raton, FL. He first developed the Assimilation System 10 years ago at the Journey Church and has since implemented and improved these strategies with over 3,000 churches across all sizes and denominations. He started coaching pastors in 2006 and has personally coached over 2100+ senior pastors, helping them break common growth barriers like 125, 250, 500, 1000 and beyond, all while maintaining personal life and ministry balance. As founder of Church Leader Insights and the Renegade Pastors Network, he has trained more than 50,000 church leaders (3,000+ church planters). He is the author of over 85 church growth resources and 17+ books, including Fusion: Turning First-Time Guests Into Fully-Engaged Members of Your Church and The Renegade Pastor: Abandoning Average in Your Life and Ministry. His continued mission is to help church leaders around the world cooperate with God in creating healthy, thriving churches. Nelson is married to Kelley and together they have one son, Alexander.

Nelson SearcyMinistry

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