Got volunteers? Often we focus all our attention on getting people to volunteer that we forget how to equip them for continued service. Avoid these four leadership mishaps to keep your volunteers from burning out!
Recruit ’em and desert ’em. Ministry volunteers want to feel part of a team, be equipped, and have the necessary resources to do their job.
Ignore their input. People commit to the plans they help create. Ask for their input and evaluation on programs and processes. Their feedback regarding every aspect of the ministry should be highly valued.
Never recognize their contribution. Go beyond listing names in the bulletin and practice God-sightings. Have volunteers share how they’ve seen God at work through their ministry. Share these stories with the congregation. Recognize people for what they do, and affirm them for who they are.
Don’t give them an “out.” If volunteers feel captive to your program with no way out but quitting, you’re fostering guilt and a sense of obligation in people. And once they escape your clutches, they’ll never return. You’ll never have long-term volunteers without short-term commitments. Offer episodic service opportunities so volunteers can find their ministry match.
[Editor’s Note: Adapted from an article in Children’s Ministry Magazine.]