Growing up I was a straight A student. To hear him tell it, my husband was typically a B honor roll kind of kid. You may assume I was the smarter one. Your assumption would be wrong. My husband is a genius, the smartest man I’ve ever known. I had to work hard to maintain my grades. He never studied. Don’t you just hate those kind of people. Well…I love him too, but you understand what I’m saying. It was easier for him than it was for me. We were dating in college and his study habits drove me crazy. It seemed I always had my nose in a book and he was always playing ultimate frisbee. Despite our priority differences, when test day rolled around our grades were always comparable. My husband eventually outgrew his apathetic phase. He began to apply his intellect and became a fierce leader, an attentive husband and a thriving father. It’s incredible to see the man he has become because he decided he wanted to be someone other than who he was. A motivational mentor and a commitment to better his work ethic changed Frank’s trajectory.
Do you know a few ministry groupies? Those volunteers who drop everything and help you achieve your mission. They’re the people at your house at midnight helping stuff treat bags or working on cut-outs. They’re the ones who show up early for set-up and stay until tear-down is complete. They even take the trash to the dumpster so you can get home to your kids.
What about the ones you dream of? The volunteers who come fully trained to take your tech ministry to the next level. Those who can redesign your ministry space or write beautiful scripts that engage children of all ages. Where are those volunteers?
Wouldn’t it be great if every volunteer came with a unique skill set designed to advance your ministry? Wait… don’t they? When did sheer effort and hard work become a second rate facility?
Skill can be taught. Talent developed. Commitment, responsibility and perseverance cannot. Find a volunteer with good soil and sew into it. Effort always trumps ability in my book. I want the volunteer who will endure the strain of ministry alongside me for years to come. Talent comes and goes. The volunteer who smiles while cleaning bathrooms, whistles while sweeping up glitter and laughs when the cookies they made end up on the floor receives top marks in my grade book.
What volunteer should you reevaluate? How can you intentionally invest in him or her to develop a skill or talent? Effort may outrank ability, but effort plus ability equals excellence.
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