Caring For the Golden Goose
Aesop tells of an old farmer with a very special goose. This goose looked like any other goose, but she laid eggs unlike any other eggs. The eggs were solid gold. The farmer and he wife were thrilled, they had never owned much. Their lives had been filled with endless work in the hot blistering sun. Now they were blessed with this incredible goose that laid pure golden eggs. You can imagine their excitement as they waited each morning for the mother goose to lay yet another golden egg.
But the farmer and his faithful wife grew weary of waiting for the daily one egg to be deposited in the feather lined nest. They wanted more gold and they wanted it now. So they decided the goose must be made of gold inside. In order to get the gold, they decided to kill the goose and remove all the gold so they would be rich now instead of later.
So they killed the goose but inside they only found goose organs. They failed to find even a single ounce of gold!
The moral of this story is
“Don’t love the gold more than the goose!”
Take good care of the goose that lays the golden eggs. In ministry terms that means take care of the workers that God gives you.
How would a wise farmer care for his “Golden Goose?”
If that goose was mine I would protect it.
I would watch over it carefully,
feed it the best food money could buy,
see that all of its needs were met.
Are you getting the picture?
Volunteers are the GOLDEN GOOSE in your ministry.
These volunteers that God has trusted you with are the ones that are doing all the work. They are the ones that are teaching the kids, making the visits, on and on. They are making your vision of reaching children possible. You just can’t do it without them unless you have a very small ministry or plan to have a very small ministry soon.
Do you value the team that God has sent you? Then show them!
Do you value the team that God has sent you like the farmer did the golden goose?
Let me be very plain, are you only out for what you can get out of them or do you care for them with a shepherd’s heart?
A leader with a shepherd’s heart is diligent to care for their workers in the following ways:
1. Value them as an individual.
2. Praise them.
3. Love them, pray for them.
4. Don’t overwork them.
5. Watch over them spiritually.
6. Invest in them. Train them.
Let’s Talk about each of these in a little more detail:
- Value them as an individual. Every person needs to feel like they have something to contribute. When people don’t feel valued for their investment in the program, they will burn out even when they believe in the vision. Discover their unique abilities and talents. Become a student of your workers. Praise them. Don’t assume that they know how much you love them. Tell them . Express your appreciation with sincere words of praise. Celebrate their victories and accomplishments in group settings.
- Love them as a person. Be concerned about their personal lives. Learn to be observant. See what is not being said. Listen to them. Ask questions, without prying, about their families, their jobs and their personal interests. Pray for them. Write their names on your prayer list and consistently call their names in prayer.
- But don’t overwork them. It is easy in both small and large churches to find a sucker, excuse me a volunteer that will do anything you ask, but please don’t overwork these people. Watch over them spiritually. See that they are in a least one service a week.
- Invest in them. It would be ridiculous to expect a field to grow anything except weeds unless you plant seed in the field. If you want to grow corn, you must invest seed in that field. If you want the precious workers, God has given you to produce abundant crops, you must invest in them.
- Train them. Nothing is more frustrating than wanting to do something, and not having the skills to do it. Always set your workers up for success. Train them to tell stories. Train them to use visuals. Train them to handle discipline problems correctly. Pour yourself into these precious workers.
WE Can Help!
Host a conference in your church.
Reproducible Training CDs for your teachers to listen to at home.
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150 creative, inexpensive reproducible ways to say, “You are appreciated!”