Tag Archives: volunteers

Don’t party with those who are absent

photo by:  dadsdish.blogspot.com

photo by: dadsdish.blogspot.com

I simply love donuts!  They kind of resemble the spare tire I’ve attained over the year.

One of my most favorite donuts is the six-count box of powdered rasberry-filled by Hostess…..well, at least until they went out of business.  When I was a kid I would take money I earned from mowing lawns and buy myself a box.  This occured maybe once every two weeks.  I could normally eat an entire box in one day, all on my own!

Sometimes, however, I’d leave one in the box for breakfast the next day.  (I know…leave me alone)  Now, I’ll be honest with you.  On those mornings I would wake up and be pretty excited remembering that I had saved one for breakfast.

But it was just one!

I mean, it’s in a box that holds six…..but I only have one.  Do you think I focused all my attention  crying over the five that were missing?  Absolutely not!  (ok, maybe just a little)  But I fully enjoyed that ONE…..down to the last crumb!

I had a party with the one I had, not the five that were absent.

I had these thoughts come to me today in church.  (hey, give me a break)  My wife and I had the opportunity to share with our church family that the Children’s Ministry team was needing to expand a bit…by about 50 individuals.  I’m so thankful for a church that values and supports Children.

I wish I could tell you that we got our 50 additional team members…but we didn’t.  We did, however, make connections with a handful of very willing individuals who are excited to learn more about this ministry opportunity.

(this is where the donut illustration comes in nicely)

You see, we could have allowed the massive void of workers to overshadow the good people who God brought to our team.  It’s like that one last donut.  I had a party with that donut.  And we’re going to celebrate (in a big way) with those few new workers…..NOT focusing on who is missing.

So, what’s your donut?

Leave me a comment or voicemail.

 

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Ministry Team Retention

I’ve been noticing a bunch of blogs recently on the topic of retaining volunteers in ministry.  This is an extremely vital issue in the Church.  So, I’ve offered a small list of my own personal high points below.

–  Notice:  Many times we use the term ‘appreciate,’ and we absolutely need to appreciate all who serve in our individual ministry areas.  I will strongly suggest, however, that being regularly noticed combats the very likely thought of  “I’m being taken for granted” from entering their mind.  This is simple, but requires being intentional.  Here it is.  Make an effort to be sure they see you seeing them in action.

–  Know:  Sure, most of realize the benefits of knowing the spiritual gifts, personality type, experiences, etc. of our team members.  But I would challenge you to also know something about their life outside of the ministry.  Are they enduring a current trial?  Is there a  high point to celebrate with them?  What are their kids’ names?  This level of involvement can happen over coffee or lunch, making small talk when passing in the church lobby, or even a phone call asking them how you can pray for them this week.

–  Contribute:  Our volunteers need to know the vision and direction for their area of ministry.  Additionally, those who have input to share need to be given the opportunity to do so.  Now…being given a voice is one thing, but being heard and considered is translated as ‘value‘ to any volunteer.  It says “I care what you think.”  What I am not saying is for you to be a people-pleaser.  Lending someone an open ear does not entitle them to make changes in the ministry…especially if those changes go against the over-all vision of the church.  On the other hand,  listening to others should help keep key leadership humble and from always thinking that we need to have all the answers.

Are you up for a really bold challenge?  Ask your volunteers how you are doing in the three areas mentioned above.

Interested in other bloggers with experience on this topic?  Check out Jim Wideman and Craig Jutila.

 

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Filed under Church, Leadership