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 growth strategist, pastor, church planter and coach, consulting with churches around the world. As founder of Church Leader Insights and the Renegade Pastors Network, he has personally trained more than 3,500 church leaders in over 45 denominations through live events, seminars and monthly coaching. Nelson is also the Founding and Lead Pastor of The Journey Church, with locations across New York City and in Boca Raton, FL. Nelson and his church routinely appear on lists such as “The 50 Most Influential Churches” and “The 25 Most Innovative Leaders.” He is the author of over 100 church growth resources and 18+ books, including The Renegade Pastor: Abandoning Average in Your Life, Ministry and The Difference Maker: Using Your Everyday Life for Eternal Impact, and At the Cross with the People Who Were There. He and his wife, Kelley, have one son, Alexander.

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