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  • Tony Lynn

Creating an endless volunteer stream

PLYMOUTH – If pastors/planters have a recurring dream, it is likely the one where they have an endless volunteer stream filling every ministry opportunity in the church! Seriously, that may be the dream!


Experienced It Myself


During the 1980s leading my first church as the senior pastor, I was enlisted to chair the associational team that would enlist, train, and deploy volunteers in many churches across two counties. I tried enlisting volunteers from a variety of churches, but everyone turned me down until I started enlisting from the church I was leading. Within hours, everyone said, “Yes.” With a complete team, the state convention and national partners sent us to places like Hershey, Pennsylvania; Ridgecrest, North Carolina; and Nashville, Tennessee for excellent training modules.


The impact on our church was immediate, deep, and unstoppable! We saw two additions to the church by transfer of membership every month. We watched as the Lord increased our evangelism, and we baptized, on the average, two new believers each month! The influence of ongoing training taught people the “Why are we doing this?” And they learned “How to carry out their ministry well.”

Because people had received inspiration and information there was no stopping the army of people in the church I was leading. As you would expect, during the next years, the other churches offered candidates to attend the training opportunities and we were more than happy to share with them having been blessed by training that created an endless volunteer stream. We wanted the same for our nearby sister churches.


Accessible Free Training Easier Than You Know


Today, we have access to free training that does not require road trips or flights to faraway places like Hershey, Pennsylvania – though I will tell you the entire city of Hershey does smell like chocolate. Roll your windows down on the car as you approach the city if you ever go. With what I am offering below, you will have to unwrap a Hershey candy bar and lay it on your desk while you train with others in-person or online. After the session, enjoy the reward of your training.

Instead of traveling, open your laptop to the Send Network Training Library – it’s easy, free, adaptable, and accessible to everyone in your church! Click on the link above, opening another window on your laptop, and start dreaming while you finish this article. On this link you will discover thorough, relevant training modules that will bring new life to your church:


  • How to Build an Effective Fundraising Plan

  • Starting Point: A Study to Discover Your Role in the Mission of God

  • 10 Qualities of a Great Coach

  • How to Write a Mission Statement


Free eBooks that Adapt to Your Needs

For the bookworms in your church who like to study on their own, or better yet for a meaningful book reading club that will revitalize your church, read any of the books you will find at:


Podcasts for Those Who Listen to Learn

There are those who learn best by listening rather than reading. There are those whose commute time could be used effectively listening to any of the following podcasts. There are those who multitask all the time in their lives. This section is for those wonderful group of potential volunteers that can take part in that endless volunteer stream.

Take a look at the New Churches Podcast which is a free online ministry in line with our network of churches always staying true to our confession of faith. These podcasts are available online wherever you listen to your podcasts: Apple, Google, Spotify, and YouTube! What is even better is that you can locate, listen, then share the podcast link by text messaging people in your church, a select small group or the entire congregation! What could be easier than that? Check out the wide assortment of titles that your people will enjoy:



There are more than 800 podcasts in this free accessible library for the church! Imagine setting up a scheduled distribution schedule for the members of your congregation relevant to the needs of your church. These podcasts could lead to deeper, more meaningful discussions in particular groups or as a way to inspire and inform the entire church.


Call or Email to Receive Help to Train Others


I am here to assist you and others train for ministry. All you have to do is invite me into your church or into your local group of churches. I would be more than happy to sit down with you in a workshop-like manner so you could leave the meeting with a plan in place that would create an endless volunteer stream for every ministry in your church. Call or text my assistant, Dan Carty at (734) 776-6495 or email Dan at to set-up an initial conversation or a complete workshop. The next step is up to you.


With Resurrection Sunday upon us this month, what better time than now to offer a pathway of meaningful service to the members of the church. Watch with anticipation how this Resurrection Celebration, with you pointing toward ongoing training, could advance a Gospel movement in ways that would go far beyond any dream you might have. I love the words of Ephesians 3:20, “Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more that we might ask or think.” May that “mighty power” become true in each one of the hundreds of our churches scattered from shore to shore across Michigan!



Dr. Tony L. Lynn is the State Director of Missions for the Baptist State Convention of Michigan. Before coming on staff at the BSCM, Tony served as lead pastor for more than six years at Crosspoint Church in Monroe, Michigan. He and his wife, Jamie, also served with the International Mission Board in Africa and in Europe.



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