6 Things To Do To Have A Great Fall Ministry Season

Fall is always a busy time for ministry leaders. New programs have been kicked off. Christmas planning is in full swing. Not only are new things happening at your church, but your members are extra busy with a new school year bringing a slew of new activities. Before you know it Thanksgiving will be here and you’ll be wondering where the last few months went. 

As we approach fall, there are a number of things that you can do to ensure that you have a great fall ministry season at your church. In this blog, we’re going to cover 6 easy things that you can do to lead your team well and make a big impact!

Encourage Your Team

This probably goes without saying, but ministry is often a thankless job. The pressures of ministry can be exhausting for staff members and volunteers alike. While fall is often a great time for the life of your church, it can be seen as a tiring season for worn down staff and volunteers. As you approach fall, make sure to take some extra to encourage your team. I’ve got some practical ways to do this for both senior leaders and ministry leaders below.

Senior Leaders:

Let’s face it, without your staff you’d be running around like a crazy person. In reality each person on staff at your church serves a vital role and from time to time they are likely to feel discouraged or at the very least overwhelmed. 

As you head into a busy fall season take some practical steps to encourage your team. Here are a few options to consider. 

  • Give everyone an extra day off. 
  • Take the team out to a fun outing.
  • Cater lunch and take the afternoon to just hang out and talk.
  • Write everyone a thank you card and give them a gift card.
  • Treat each team member to a date night with their spouse by purchasing a gift card. 

Ministry Leaders:

I seriously don’t even want to think about what life would be like without volunteer team members. These men and women serve without pay while balancing a million other things that they need or want to do. Fall can feel extremely overwhelming to your volunteers. Especially the ones with children in school. 

As you head into a busy fall season take some practical steps to encourage your team. Here are a few options to consider. 

  • Write everyone a thank you card (optional: add a $5 Starbucks card)
  • Have a team night at your house with pizza and games.
  • Praise the team in public.
  • Ask the lead pastor to honor all volunteers from the stage OR write them a thank you card.

Help Your Team Grow

January is not the only time to think about ministry and personal goals. Fall is a great time to help team members, both paid and volunteer, to grow as disciples of Christ and as leaders. One of my favorite ways to do this is to challenge each person to read X number of books and listen to X number of sermons/podcasts. I stole this from Scott Wilson’s book Ready, Set, Grow and it has been a valuable method for teams that I have been a part of. The tricky part is sharing why it’s helpful and to not overburden the team with too many extra things to do. 

Try Something New

Fall is a great time to try something new. If you’ve been doing the same thing for years, consider mixing it up with something new this year. Doing the same thing over and over again can create ambivalence and lead to decreased results. Of course, the opposite can also be true so don’t scrap something that people already love! 

Trying new things is essential to the long term health of a ministry. Your people, both those that you minister to and those that serve, need new things in their lives in order to help them continue on their path toward Christ. Don’t be afraid to try something different this fall. It may be just the spark that propels your ministry deeper toward Christ. 

Communicate Effectively

Effective communication is key to leading well. Leaders and those you minister to both need to be communicated to effectively. Hastily written emails sent at the last possible second probably aren’t going to bring the results that you’re looking for in ministry. Instead, make sure to take time to plan your communication strategy going into the fall. Not only that, but it may be time to retire your current tool.

HuddleUp is a revolutionary new way to communicate to people in your ministry. It lets you send a quick video or written message, attach files, and give everyone a single place to engage. Imagine social media but still controlling exactly who can and can’t see your message and you’ve got HuddleUp. Start a 14 day free trial of HuddleUp here. 

Recruit New Volunteers

If you’ve got a busy fall ministry season planned chances are that you’ll need a few new volunteers. At the beginning of each major ministry season (January and August) you should count on at least 5% volunteer turnover. You’re always going to have people that step down from serving and that’s okay! Some will step down because it isn’t a good fit, others because they’ve got too many things going on, and others just because they need a break. 

Recruiting new volunteers before every ministry season helps to ensure that you have a full ministry team so that you can launch into the season at full force. Not sure how to recruit volunteers? We’ve got another post that lays out 21 volunteer recruiting ideas that you can use in your ministry.

Train and Retrain

No one likes talking about training — ministry leaders and volunteers alike. But,  effective ministry must be built upon a foundation of training and development. The problem is that when it comes to training most people have had a bad experience. Most ministry leaders report an average of about 50% of people showing up for training meetings. Most volunteers feel like meetings are a waste of time and repeat the same information over and over. The good news is that training doesn’t have to happen in a meeting.

We’ve helped thousands of leaders train tens of thousands of volunteers over the last few years with our online training tool called TrainedUp. You can train your team members from anywhere using our 800+ videos or by uploading your own. Not only do make training easier to complete, but you can even ask questions to your volunteers to ensure that they’re learning the things that they need to know. Start a 14 day free trial of TrainedUp here.

Wrapping Up

As you launch into a busy fall ministry season don’t forget the reason why you do what you do. Jesus’ grace is more than enough to empower you to make an impact for His glory. Don’t get too wrapped up in the newness of fall that you forget why you do what you do. Count it an honor to serve at the King’s table.

Kevin Fontenot

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