For today’s episode of the Lunch and Learn Podcast, our host Kenny Jahng will discuss volunteer VIP huddles. V stands for vision, I for information, and P for prayer.

TRANSCRIPTION:

Hey, it’s that time again. It’s time for a little Lunch and Learn. Today I want to talk to you as communicators. One of the things that you are looked upon in your vocational role probably is to provide content, provide leadership, and provide the communications assets. And all the scheduling and all the oversight of what goes on in terms of messaging on your internal and external channels. One of the things that I want to challenge you this week, on today’s Lunch and Learn, is related to a resource that I’ve been reading. It’s a book called Streamline: How to Create Healthy Church Systems by my friend Michael Lukaszewski, you should pick it up on Amazon. It’s called Streamline and it’s a great book about systems in the back. It looks like it’s actually geared toward the senior pastor or preaching pastor, but it actually is not. And this is something that I think all communicators should pick up. The back of the book it says, “Better preaching and more vision won’t solve the problems in your church. Systems problems can only be solved by creating and implementing healthy systems.”

And what’s interesting about this book is it is divided into some big chunks: planning, leading and communicating. And I actually think that the planning section is really practical, tactical. It talks about how to build an annual calendar. It talks about how to build a preaching calendar, how to build the weekend communications calendar. How to look at your special events and your regular events. How to weigh them and actually triage all of those things for the stage, et cetera. So planning is a really critical role for the communications department that you can do to help coordinate all the other departments and ministries inside your church. And building that master calendar is something that I think you probably would really, I guess, have some eyes open to the actual process that some healthy churches are actually going through. So that’s the whole first third of the book.

The last third is all about communicating. And here’s the challenge for this week. Instead of just thinking about your role as a communicator in the church, to actually produce things and to be at the beck and call of the senior leaders or the executive committee or even different department heads, et cetera. One of the things that you can do is help provide leadership to empower and equip your leaders for Sunday morning when they meet with their volunteers. Because volunteers are what runs our church and volunteers are our heroes. If we didn’t have our volunteers, we would not have church. So one of the things that is really interesting, that Mike talks about in section three, he literally starts off his section three of the book all about… It’s all about communicating, right? It’s planning, leading, and communicating.

And so chapter 17, let’s go to chapter 17. He starts off this chapter with a very simple formula for your weekly volunteer huddles. And I thought that this framework that he gives is really, really good. He has this VIP framework for your weekly… Well, a simple formula for your weekly volunteer huddle. I just want to go through these three things. And I’m wondering if you could actually just help educate and empower and equip some of your staff members in different departments that are going to meet with their volunteers this coming Sunday. And give them this helpful three-part framework for how they can run their volunteer huddle. Okay? This first one is the V, vision. He says, “Every week, remind volunteers why they’re serving. Share a win. Tell a story. Explain the mission of your specific church that you’re called to in your community. It’s important to continually remind your people the why behind the what they’re going to do that day. Just start with that why, that big-picture vision.” The V is for vision.

The second part of the meaning for your volunteer huddle is to share some information. I, information. Share what’s important for the team. Right? Not comprehensively, just on a need to know basis. Right? Things that they need to know for that day to mini-training modules. Right? Talk about the kids’ leaders, about the bathroom policy. Or talk to the greeters about how to deal with disruptive guests. Or each week you can pick a different topic and explain it. This is where you do your mini training, in this informational huddle that you do every single week with your volunteers. It’s the one time you have a consistent time with them. And then you can impart the DNA of your church by sharing information through training. And the last one, the P, VIP is prayer. So vision, start with a vision, share some information and training, and then end with prayer. Spend a few minutes praying for the morning, praying for other volunteers, praying for the pastor and the worship team. Occasionally you can even ask people if they have special concerns to pray for each other.

It’s going to require some education on your part. And you’re going to have to stick to your guns. Because a volunteer huddle is not someplace that everyone is thinking about, “Oh, I’m going to pause for a minute and actually pray.” Or a volunteer huddle tends to be something that you want to get to, get through, and then get to your stations and wait for people to come in the doors of the church. But if you stick to your guns and have evolved your huddle before each and every service, it is an effective way to engage your volunteers. So the challenge of the week has a VIP huddle this week. Empower your staff members and your key volunteers. Empower them with a simple VIP formula. Again, they don’t have to plan it every single week. But just try it out at once, see how it feels. And consistency is key to the game.

So, as a communicator, the bottom line is you are there to offer a resource, manage and steward the communications team and the programs and the campaigns that you’re running. But another part I’d like to challenge you is to step up and lead people, empower and teach people. Mentor them in how they can be better communicators with their own teams. So Mike Lukaszewski’s Streamline book, highly recommend it. There’s a bunch of other things in here that… It’s a jam-packed. Let’s see how many pages it is. It is over 238 pages. It’s all practical stuff. You can actually just go through it week-by-week and just start to implement all these checklists and frameworks and things that Mike shares. The last third of the book, communicating, talks about all these health systems. And even, let me show you. It even shows you things, if you’re watching this video version, it’s showing you even the email sequences for the first-time guest follow up systems, et cetera. They share so much in this book, I can’t recommend them enough. Streamline by Mike Lukaszewski, pick it up on Amazon.

Let me know if you’ve ever done a volunteer huddle before. What do you think of the VIP framework? And if you have any other suggestions for engaging your volunteers on a weekly basis at church. That’s it for today. I’ll catch you here next time on the Lunch and Learn, I’m Kenny Jahng. In the meantime, remember, be social, stay social.

HIGHLIGHTS:

01:28  One of the things that you are looked upon in your vocational role probably is to provide content, provide leadership, and provide the communications assets. And all the scheduling and all the oversight of what goes on in terms of messaging on your internal and external channels. One of the things that I want to challenge you this week, on today’s Lunch and Learn, is related to a resource that I’ve been reading. It’s a book called Streamline: How to Create Healthy Church Systems by my friend Michael Lukaszewski, you should pick it up on Amazon. It’s called Streamline and it’s a great book about systems in the back. It looks like it’s actually geared toward the senior pastor or preaching pastor, but it actually is not. And this is something that I think all communicators should pick up. The back of the book it says, “Better preaching and more vision won’t solve the problems in your church. Systems problems can only be solved by creating and implementing healthy systems.”

02:30 And what’s interesting about this book is it is divided into some big chunks: planning, leading, and communicating. And I actually think that the planning section is really practical, tactical. It talks about how to build an annual calendar. It talks about how to build a preaching calendar, how to build the weekend communications calendar. How to look at your special events and your regular events. How to weigh them and actually triage all of those things for the stage, et cetera. So planning is a really critical role for the communications department that you can do to help coordinate all the other departments and ministries inside your church. And building that master calendar is something that I think you probably would really, I guess, have some eyes open to the actual process that some healthy churches are actually going through. So that’s the whole first third of the book.

03:25 The last third is all about communicating. And here’s the challenge for this week. Instead of just thinking about your role as a communicator in the church, to actually produce things and to be at the beck and call of the senior leaders or the executive committee or even different department heads, et cetera. One of the things that you can do is help provide leadership to empower and equip your leaders for Sunday morning when they meet with their volunteers. Because volunteers are what runs our church and volunteers are our heroes. If we didn’t have our volunteers, we would not have church. So one of the things that is really interesting, that Mike talks about in section three, he literally starts off his section three of the book all about… It’s all about communicating, right? It’s planning, leading, and communicating.

04:06 This first one is the V, vision. He says, “Every week, remind volunteers why they’re serving. Share a win. Tell a story. Explain the mission of your specific church that you’re called to in your community. It’s important to continually remind your people the why behind the what they’re going to do that day. Just start with that why, that big-picture vision.” The V is for vision.

The second part of the meaning for your volunteer huddle is to share some information. I, information. Share what’s important for the team. Right? Not comprehensively, just on a need to know basis. Right? Things that they need to know for that day to mini-training modules. Right? Talk about the kids’ leaders, about the bathroom policy. Or talk to the greeters about how to deal with disruptive guests. Or each week you can pick a different topic and explain it. This is where you do your mini training, in this informational huddle that you do every single week with your volunteers. It’s the one time you have a consistent time with them. And then you can impart the DNA of your church by sharing information through training. And the last one, the P, VIP is prayer. So vision, start with a vision, share some information and training, and then end with prayer. Spend a few minutes praying for the morning, praying for other volunteers, praying for the pastor and the worship team. Occasionally you can even ask people if they have special concerns to pray for each other.

04:30 Second part of the meaning for your volunteer huddle is to share some information. I, information. Share what’s important for the team. Right? Not comprehensively, just on a need to know basis. Right? Things that they need to know for that day to mini-training modules. Right? Talk about the kids’ leaders, about the bathroom policy. Or talk to the greeters about how to deal with disruptive guests. Or each week you can pick a different topic and explain it. This is where you do your mini training, in this informational huddle that you do every single week with your volunteers. It’s the one time you have a consistent time with them.

05:09 And the last one, the P, VIP is prayer. So vision, start with a vision, share some information and training, and then end with prayer. Spend a few minutes praying for the morning, praying for other volunteers, praying for the pastor and the worship team. Occasionally you can even ask people if they have special concerns to pray for each other.

 

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