Volunteering is the life-blood of local churches and this book is a comprehensive and practical guide to working with and encouraging volunteers. Looking at the key issues for small and medium-sized churches, Richard Steel offers realistic suggestions and guidelines that do not rely on large budgets and staff. He writes about how working with volunteers can be challenging, but is also intensely rewarding - and stresses the importance of helping them realise just how important they are in the bigger picture of God's mission. Building people up as volunteers is not just for the benefit of our individual churches, nor just for their personal development. It is about enabling the Church to reach out into all walks of society, all professions, all networks. It is about developing the skills and experiences that make us better people for building God's Kingdom in the world.
Following a Curacy in Hull (St John, Newland)(84-87) I worked as Religious Programmes Producer for Radio Trent (Nottingham and Derby) (87-92) then as Diocesan Communication Officer for Blackburn Diocese (92-97) when I played a part in establishing the Church of England's Web presence. As Communication Director for the Church Mission Society (CMS)(97-2005) I worked with many of the volunteers who were at its heart, leading the team directly responsible for their entire volunteer network, its support and resourcing.
I am now the Rector of a parish church in which volunteers do the great majority of the work. I chair a local community group that is run entirely by volunteers and am the Convenor of the Grove Books Editorial group for the Leadership series. Alongside this I have had academic opportunities to study leadership (Postgraduate Diploma in Leadership, Exeter, 2002) and try and keep abreast with current leadership thinking. I also have a Masters in the Theology and Ethics of Communication (Edinburgh, 1997) and am a regular contributor to BBC Radio Leeds
I have recently finished writing a second book, a detailed handbook on volunteering. It is called 'Building up the Body' and is to be published by BRF next July (2013)