Leading Volunteers Part 2

“When the princes in Israel take the lead, when the people willingly offer themselves—praise the Lord!” (Judges 5:1).

God appointed Deborah as a Judge to lead the Children of Israel through a desperate time. She wrote a song describing six types of people she recruited to join her army. Your board members and volunteers fall into these six categories. Here are the final three:

Followers Who Stand Strong (Judges 5:18)
Thankfully, Deborah had a few tribes who not only showed up for work but excelled. “The people of Zebulun risked their very lives; so did Naphtali on the terraced fields” (Judges 5:18). It’s rare to find followers who will risk their lives for your organization. Paul wrote a stellar recommendation to the church in Philippi about Epaphroditus, “welcome him in the Lord with great joy, and honor people like him, because he almost died for the work of Christ. He risked his life to make up for the help you yourselves could not give me” (Phil. 2:29-30). Every organization needs people who are willing to risk life and limb to advance its cause.

Followers Who Are No Shows (Judges 5:23)
It would be wonderful if everyone in your army was a Zebulun or Naphtali, but unfortunately that’s not the case. In Deborah’s victory song, she wrote a scathing rebuke against some volunteers who didn’t even show up. “Curse Meroz,’ said the angel of the Lord. ‘Curse its people bitterly, because they did not come to help the Lord, to help the Lord against the mighty’” (Judges 5:23). You’ve probably cursed a few people under your breath who said they were coming but didn’t. This is the only time Meroz is mentioned in the Bible and the only thing we know about them is they didn’t help — not the way you want to be remembered for eternity. Solomon warns about putting your confidence in someone who cannot be trusted, “Depending on an unreliable person in a crisis is like trying to chew with a loose tooth or walk with a crippled foot” (Prov. 25:19, GNT).

Followers Who Drive a Stake in The Ground (Judges 5:24-27)
Deborah won the battle through the efforts of an unlikely hero. Jael wasn’t a skilled archer or a mighty warrior, she was just a willing volunteer who used what she had to make a difference. The King of Sisera fled the battlefield and came to Jael’s tent looking for a place to hide and rest. Jael welcomed him in, gave him some warm milk to help him sleep, and proceeded to drive a tent stake through his skull into the ground. What a powerful scene! Unlike Deborah and Jael, our enemies aren’t people but philosophies that oppose the truth (2 Cor. 10:3-4). You need a few core people surrounding you with their shields of faith to protect you from “the flaming arrows of the evil one” (Eph. 6:16).

Think About This: Years from now what people sing about your organization will be based upon the quality of team members you recruit today. Recruit courageous volunteers who will face issues head on.

Response: Father, bring us faithful partners who will stand with us. Give us courage to speak the truth in love in every situation.


Ron Haas has served the Lord as a pastor, the vice president of advancement of a Bible college, a Christian foundation director, a board member and a fundraising consultant. He’s authored two books: Ask for a Fish – Bold Faith-Based Fundraising and Simply Share – Bold, Grace-Based Giving. He regularly presents fundraising workshops at ministry conferences and has written fundraising articles for At the Center magazine and Christian Leadership Alliance’s Outcomes magazine.

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