Pastor Bill Hybels believes that there is a new reality in America. The church has entered an era of growth and unprecedented spiritual opportunity to share the Gospel, yet at the same time we face a shrinking economy and a world in crisis. This poses a great resource challenge for the church. In order to reach out to people who are spiritually hungry, the church needs more people to be equipped to serve others. Hybels passionately believes the key to the future of the church is the equation 'X (paid staff) + Y (volunteers) = Z (bearing much fruit for God's glory).' Churches cannot afford to continue hiring more and more staff with limited budgets. The key to resourcing the church is what Hybels calls 'the Y factor.' The Y factor is the pool of volunteers in every church. The great need of the church is to grow the church's volunteer base through the equipping ministry of church staffs. As churches recover the message of Ephesians 4:11-12 to 'equip God's people for works of service' they will launch a Volunteer Revolution. People are just waiting to discover the gifts and passions that God has given them to serve others and then be invited to use those gifts and passions through the local church in order to advance the kingdom of God on Earth. Hybels believes that every church staff should be helping people discover their spiritual gifts, passions and place of service in order to meet the growing needs in our churches and world. Hybels makes a clarion call to move beyond volunteer retention to volunteer acquisition. By attracting, connecting, training, and sustaining volunteers, churches will mobilize people into places of service that will bring new meaning to their lives and understand why God put them on planet Earth. Hybels also outlines how we can build lifelong volunteers in the church through community, celebration, and commendation.
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