I want to tell you a story of a time I messed up when it came to serving people.

I was serving on staff at a large church in Mississippi. Our volunteer team was growing and we were implementing some great things to enhance the worship experiences. I was good friends with the Service Producer on staff and we were raising a guy up to serve as a volunteer Service Producer. This position was in charge of Planning Center Online Live, and helping keep the production moving forward.

We were so thrilled to have him on the team, because he wasn’t your typical grew-up-in-the-church kind of believer. This guy really changed his life around to start following Christ.

Through some circumstances, we found out that he was having some marital problems. We even found out that he was dangerously close to having an affair with a co-worker. There were some question marks surrounding the situation.

The Service Producer and myself made a decision to talk to this volunteer and asked him to take a break from his leadership role and even from serving for a little while so he could work on his marriage. Which, considering the circumstances, was a good decision.

The problem lies in this – we didn’t follow up with him. At least I didn’t.

We asked him to take a break and failed to meet with him occasionally to see how he was doing.

I didn’t check up on him.

I didn’t call.

I didn’t text.

I didn’t have coffee with him a few weeks later to get an update or to offer help.

I let him go. And I never really heard from him again.

As far as I know now, he hasn’t returned to church.

I have no clue where he is in his faith journey.

This was a guy that wasn’t churched. He needed the encouragement of another male believer coming alongside him and helping him walk out his faith. And I failed him.

You see, it wasn’t about pushing the buttons on Sunday. It was about a person.

Don’t make the mistakes I did in this situation.

Don’t forget about people.

Pastor first.

Care more about who your volunteers are becoming than what they do on your team.