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Hillcrest’s Volunteer Force
by Tom Goodman
November 13, 2009

Three cheers for volunteers -- and we need you now more than ever!  Recently we sent out a letter about transitioning our "Ignite" ministry to volunteer leadership (see below).  In reply, I received several notes from people saying, "You can count on me to help!"  I'm grateful, because I can't imagine what our church would do without people willing to give their time to ministry:

  • The volunteers who lead PraiseHill see about 60 in their ministry every week.
  • The huge volunteer force that leads Upward and Hoops sees nearly a thousand people come and go through our MPC every week in the Winter.
  • Where would be without those 40-50 instrumentalists and singers on stage every week?
  • How about the volunteers in our Caring Friends ministry who help our homebound members feel a little less lonely?

Of course, the list could go on.  The point is, you make a huge difference when you offer your time and gifts in service at Hillcrest.  I was reminded of this again as Meta Pugh and I prepared the following letter for members of Ignite, our ministry to college students and young singles.  Meta chairs our Personnel Committee.  Here's the note:

Dear Friends,

We want you to know about the future plans for "Ignite," our ministry to college students and singles in their 20s.  In short, "Ignite" will continue under volunteer leadership in 2010.

Two years ago, Pastor Tom invited Courtney Carlson to lead a one-year "pilot project" to focus on building the attendance of our "college and career" group.  He decided to extend that pilot project for another year, which ends in December 2009.  Pastor Tom and the Personnel Committee have concluded that we do not have enough attendance to ask the church to develop a paid staff position for this area of ministry.

We want to emphasize that this decision was exclusively about the need for a paid staff position.  The decision was not disciplinary.  In other words, Courtney was not terminated.  Courtney and Benji have expressed their love for Hillcrest, and we hope they will stay on as members.  The question that Pastor Tom and the Personnel Committee focused on is the need for the position of a paid staff member for Ignite.  We communicated to Courtney that we would continue the terms of the pilot program through the end of January 2010, giving her 90 days of income from the time the decision was reached.

Now, what about the future of Ignite?  We are talking with potential volunteer leaders who would serve under staff supervision.  As you know, we depend on volunteer leadership for most ministries in the church: young married adult ministry, senior adult ministry, homebound ministry, and Upward/Hoops ministry, to name a few.  Our Upward/Hoops ministry is led by an all-volunteer force that serves about a thousand people every weekend in the Winter.  We are confident that God will lead us to the right volunteer leadership for Ignite as he has led us to the right leadership for all these other areas.

If you have any questions, please contact us.  I know you will be praying for the Ignite ministry, for the Carlsons, and for the glory of God to be displayed through Hillcrest!


Tom Goodman

Meta Pugh
Chair, Personnel Committee

So, if you're a volunteer at Hillcrest, my hat's off to you in deep gratitude!  And if you're not serving somewhere yet, well, what are you waiting for?

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