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A mentor of mine recently asked me this question, “With the Pony Express delivering mail back in the day, what was more important, the ponies or the mail?” The answer is the ponies because without the ponies you cannot deliver the mail. The problem is most pastors and leaders think the mail is the most important thing. To put it in church terms, the ponies are your staff and volunteers and the mail is the mission.

The reality is churches often get it wrong. We think the mission is the most important thing and in the process we kill our ponies by wearing them out. The reality is our people are the most important thing and we have to take care of the people or the mission is stranded.

So, at Seven San Diego we have strategically put into place some practices to make sure we don’t kill our ponies. Without our dedicated volunteers and staff we cannot fulfill the mission for which God has called us. Namely, to seek and save the lost (Luke 19:10).

Whether you’re a volunteer or church leader I’ve got a question for you. If you’re a church leader: What do you do to appreciate your volunteers and staff? If you’re a volunteer what are some things you have appreciated your church leadership doing to show their appreciation for your service?

I’d love to hear some ideas…