Lead Volunteers: Automate Everything
I have a passion for automation. I have a passion for setting up systems and processes that can reduce human involvement and maximize ministry output.
Let me give you an example. During my time in church ministry, I kept an email folder called drafts. Inside of that folder were 25 different common questions — questions about baptism, questions about infant dedication, and questions about our summer programming. I had these emails pre-written and well thought out, just waiting in the wings for an opportunity and a person for me to ask. That is automation. I am seeking to work once and have the automation work hundreds of times for me in the future.
In ministry, if we don’t come to the table with some level of automation, we are going to be a small gear that is spinning so fast that smoke begins to emanate. That is a recipe for burnout. If you can sit down and think through what different items you could create right now that will be used over and over in the future, you are going to be setting up processes of automation that will literally pay you back hundreds of hours in the future.
Look at Your Calendar
How can you begin to systematically automate your ministry? What is something that is repeated? Do you have baptisms every quarter? Do you have infant dedications every six months? That is a repeated, ongoing activity. Therefore, creating a process and automating all of the details around its promotion, execution, and follow up would be intelligent and important.
Every year we have fall kickoff. It should not be a surprise that we are kicking off things every single September. What if an intelligent team of people sat down and figured out all of the items that were necessary for fall kickoff. What if we spent an inordinate amount of time fine tuning and crafting the perfect kickoff scenario? After we get through that first year, we tweak it slightly and then we can hand off some of the process to an administrative assistant or even a volunteer and I don’t have to touch it again!
In this example, automating things involves taking photographs of the fall festival display, labeling them, and having those items in well-defined and organized tubs. A volunteer, who is hungry to serve, can be handed a sheet of paper, be directed to where the tubs exist, and then simply replicate what you have done. Automating things means that you will put in a little more time on the front end in order to be paid off far more on the back end.
Think through what items are repeated weekly, monthly, quarterly, or annually and seek to make processes that someone else can do without your involvement. You will be glad you did.