4 Truths for Everyone Who Leads Volunteers

4 Truths for Everyone Who Leads Volunteers
September 20, 2016 Bob D'Ambrosio

Maybe you haven’t yet decided whether your volunteers are the greatest…or the most splintery, rough-hewn part of your ministry.

Reality is, your volunteers are exactly what you need to make ministry successful. Another reality is that they can be at the root of the most perplexing problems and frustrating fiascos. Volunteers running amok can make you want to quit—or leave you dreaming they’ll quit.

What can you do with tough situations? How can you handle ongoing issues with volunteers? First we have to acknowledge four (sometimes hard) truths. And then we have to remind ourselves of these truths every time we take a deep breath and prepare to deal with a challenging volunteer situation head-on.

Truth 1: Leaders aren’t always right. Sometime our volunteers are right. And at times, they may even know better what to do than we do.

Truth 2: If we decided to simply fill a volunteer position in our ministry area and not fit the volunteer to the role, we made the mess ourselves.

Truth 3: There are times our volunteers are flat-wrong. We hate it because now we have to deal with it. And we know what that means: Someone may end up not liking us. It’s rough…but as leaders, we must lead.

Truth 4: Leaders do what’s biblical. Always. Even when it’s really hard.

These four truths give us good context for handling tricky volunteer situations, and keep us as leaders in check.


[Excerpted from the September/October 2016 issue of Children’s Ministry Magazine.]

Bob D’Ambrosio is a 25-year veteran of frontline church ministry and now serves with Group’s content solutions team. He’s a trainer for volunteer equipping, a Refresh the Church blogger, and a ministry coach for Group U. Bob is a contributing author and general editor of the E4:12 Bible Study Series Better Together: Connecting to God and Others and Leading Out: Connecting People to Purpose.


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