I have known Lee Davis, formerly Oregon and Nevada Catalytic and now Market Forum Coordinator, for several years. We have worked together on distance ministry roundtables and other projects over the years. I have appreciated his pioneering spirit and his vision for growing student and volunteer-led ministries. He recently called me and we happened to talk about volunteers. I asked him if he would write this tip for you.
I have been on staff 25 yrs. in February…12 on the WSU and Oregon State campuses and 12 in Catalytic, starting ministries in Alaska, Nevada and Oregon. In the early days of Catalytic I worked alone. I was always promised a team, but it never seemed to work out. My gifting was in pioneering and launching. I did my homework before scouting out a school. As I sought to launch a ministry, I usually had people in the community to meet with along with faculty and interested students. Usually a new ministry was started because a faculty member, or community volunteer or CCC student alum partnered with us to help begin the ministry.
Working with volunteers has been a major part of seeing successful ministries. At Western Oregon University, Ken and Michelle McKinney have volunteered for 10 years. They first got involved by allowing the Catalytic CCC ministry to use their rural property to host a bonfire. As they began to get to know students, our key male and female student leaders asked Ken and Michelle to disciple them. This led to the McKinney’s opening their home to host the weekly servant team meeting. This was such a help to me as a catalytic director, because I realized that as the ministry began to grow from 50 to 100 students, new challenges faced our ministry that required adult council.
After four years of volunteering, the McKinney’s asked for more CCC training. We offered them the opportunity to come to our Spring Leadership Retreat; Winter Conference and Ministry Days @ CSU (which they attended in 2003 & 2007).
In 2007 the McKinney’s asked to “try something new”…becoming Volunteer Campus Directors at Western Oregon University. I felt like they had a great understanding of CCC ministry philosophy, and had taken time out from their business to receive the training needed to make them successful. Michelle has said time and time again how thankful they are for the opportunity to be involved and grateful for those locally and regionally willing to “try something new”.
At this year’s Winter Conference they brought their pastor and his wife, two young married couples that lead Bible studies and an older couple that help pray for the campus. They “impart what they process” and they are helping us develop a model of volunteer-led Missional Teams!
As a CCC Catalytic Director, I realized the importance of empowering others to lead, trusting them to make decisions (2 Tim. 2:2) that are best for their campus ministry and being there as a friend and an associate to give advice and council when needed.
Lee has seen from his own experience the value of working with volunteers. They are key to the continued growth of our ministry to new campuses, to new contextualized ministries and beyond the campus. For more by Lee on launching and resourcing ministries out of the old Catalytic Journals: