5 Warning Signs a Volunteer is About to Quit

5 Warning Signs a Volunteer is About to Quit
July 29, 2014 Bob D'Ambrosio
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Are your volunteers giving you warning signs that they’re ready to quit? Watch for these 5 indicators to determine if someone may be ready to step down.

Warning Sign #1: They no longer enjoy their serving role.  Ministry positions are often open-ended, expecting people to serve without a completion date. If someone on your team has been serving in the same position for two or more years, there may be trouble ahead.

SOLUTION: Allow volunteers the opportunity to ‘re-up’ for every term. And before that date arrives, allow time for reflection and evaluation with the ministry leader to mutually agree upon another term of service.

Warning Sign #2: They are frequently absent. While no one is expected to have 100 percent participation, 100 percent of the time, there should be a standard for every volunteer role that sets the bar for participation. Is it OK if an usher only shows up for half of the schedule? Will you allow a small group leader to lead a group if his work schedule often pulls him out of town?

SOLUTION: Attendance and participation expectations can be spelled out in a ministry description and agreed upon before making placement. In addition, there needs to be some built in “down time” for your volunteers so they can be refueled and refreshed.

Warning Sign #3: Their attitude has become increasingly negative. Attitude is the one thing people can control so generally when a positive-thinking person turns to a more critical tone, you know it’s a red flag. At the first sign of an attitude change-—it’s time to talk!

SOLUTION: Arrange a time to meet privately and see what’s behind the change. There may be personal issues going on that would warrant a time to step down, or perhaps there’s a simple misunderstanding that needs to be resolved. A proactive approach can help keep volunteers on the team.

Warning Sign #4: They withdraw from worship. Worship is the celebration of community. When volunteers ditch out the back door it’s a sign they’re detaching from the Body.

SOLUTION: Every leader wants to see volunteers growing spiritually. While it’s tempting to “require” their worship participation, you’ll get better results if you come alongside them and encourage their attendance. Perhaps something in their life has changed or they need to serve less in order to worship more.

Warning Sign #5: They stop offering ideas to improve the ministry or their personal development. When someone becomes disengaged or apathetic about ministry, there may be a bigger problem.

SOLUTION: Build touch stones for personal development and ministry evaluation into the service description for each volunteer position. This will ensure your team is experiencing growth through their involvement.

Recognizing these five signs may help you intervene and pull your volunteer off the cliff of resignation.

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