For clarity, I mean can you step away from the ministry and it still runs smoothly?
To me, that's the test of whether or not you have built a solid, effective volunteer team.
As a leader in children's ministry, you are called to equip volunteers, so they can do the work of the ministry.
If you are effectively equipping and empowering them, they can run the ministry without you.
Remember, your heart should be to create stars, rather than being a star. To put others into the spotlight. To be seen not as a powerful, but as empowering.
I was recently doing a consultation for a church. One great thing they are doing well is empowering volunteers. They are doing a great job at creating an environment that doesn't depend upon the children's pastor. The children's pastor shared with me that he spends most of his Sundays greeting kids and families as they arrive and depart. He is not tied to any of the classrooms and this is what gives him the freedom to step away from the classrooms and connect with kids and families as they arrive and depart.
It also gives him the freedom to walk to each classroom and connect with the volunteers, thanking them and encouraging them.
I want to encourage you to work toward being able to step away and the ministry run just as smoothly without you.
Here are some more questions to think through:
Can I step away from the ministry and the ministry not miss a beat?
Are my volunteers dependent on me or have I equipped them to not need me?
Am I operating at 30,000 feet so I can look down the road, see the big picture and make adjustments and changes?
Am I empowering my volunteers so they can solve problems and make adjustments without having to call me in panic mode?
What do I need to give up so the ministry can continue to go up?
Your goal should be to build a ministry that isn't dependent on you. I know we all have this inner desire to be known...to feel important...to be needed. But we must be willing to die to ourselves for the greater good.
Remember it's not what you can do, it's what you can empower others to do.
You can get the knowledge and strategy you need to build a great volunteer team in my book "The Formula for Building Great Volunteer Teams." It's available in paperback or ebook formats at this link.
I know it takes time and consistency to get to the point where you can step away. But you can do it. Make that your goal and then start working toward it. The starting point is to realize that God has called you to equip and empower His people for the work of the ministry.
When you get the ministry to the point where you can step away and nothing misses a beat, you are leading well.
Head that direction and you'll find the freedom that comes from empowering others and giving them the opportunity to grow and maximize the gifts and talents God has given them.