I love my volunteers. Â I have a great group of men and women who give so much of themselves to the students, myself, the church and God. Â When I see them investing in the next generation I’m filled with joy. Â Unfortunately, I haven’t had a perfect streak when it comes to recruiting and keeping volunteers. Â Â I’ve had a few people who are full out committed at first and then never show up to a single small group. Â There have been grown ups who have said inappropriate things around the students because of carelessness. Â And then there are the volunteers who are consistently late and showing up unprepared. Â When this happens, something needs to be done.
Addressing a volunteer’s commitment and expectations can be awkward and painful. Â Your mind says, “Get rid of them.” Your heart says, “I need them.”Â Â And your stomach is in knots. Â So what do you do?
Before you decide whether to can or keep that volunteer, try these options:
- Reassign Them:Â It’s possible a volunteer is serving in the wrong ministry. Â I’ve had large group ministers who should be small group leaders. Â People who were better with kids than teens. Â It happens all the time, someone responds to your invitation wanting to help you out not thinking, “Is this the right ministry for me?”Â Before you reassign a volunteer make sure you help them discern their transition. Â Walk with them through this journey so that they feel confident it isn’t about their lack of skill it’s just misplacement.
- Give Them A Season Off:Â Even your volunteers need a vacation. Â Unfortunately, they might not recognize the need so they overcommit and burn themselves out. Â As a youth minister one of your main responsibilities is to oversee the health of your volunteers. Â If they are acting slow, or frustrated discuss with them about taking a couple of weeks or months away from the ministry. Â Be sure to check in with them during their Sabbatical.
- Follow Up With A Review:Â Reviews and evaluations are done in the professional working world and the same should be done in your ministry. Â Reviews help the employer and employees reevaluate the position, productivity and Â address any serious issues they might see. Â Set-up a review process with volunteers who are struggling and you’ll find it easier to tackle the tougher issues before it’s too late.
Addressing volunteer concerns is never easy. Â You grow with these men and women who have sacrificed much of their time to be with you; therefore, it becomes personal. Â If addressing a minister about anything serious be sure to partner up. Â If it’s with someone of the opposite sex make sure your partner is too. Â In the end if you have to let them go, you know that you’ve given them plenty of chances and options.
How do you address minister problems?
Chris Wesley (@chrisrwesley)