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How To Lose Your Volunteers in 25 Days

Christiaan VandenHeuvel

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If you're looking for a sure-fire plan to get rid of all those annoying, highly energetic, ridiculously loyal volunteers who show up week after week, we've got the lowdown for you. After all, there's not a children's minister out there who wouldn't give up his or her left lung to finally shake that clingy entourage of hangers-on who seem to think they actually have something to offer in children's ministry. Simply use one tip a day to virtually ensure that every last one of your children's ministry volunteers will quit in just 25 days or less. (Or don't do these things and you'll have what you've always dreamed of: a thriving team of committed leaders who impact the next generation for Jesus!)

Day 1:
Volunteers are here to serve; make them serve you.

Take a fresh look at your volunteers: They signed up to serve in your children's ministry. So don't spend a lot of unnecessary energy serving them. Give them plenty of ways to serve you and your ministry.

Day 2:
Provide zero vision.

You might end up with some long-term volunteers if they know your long-term vision, so keep that something of a secret. Recruit to the task, not to the greater vision. For instance, just tell prospective volunteers that for the 3-year-olds, you just need "another warm body in the room." Don't fill anyone in on the real purpose for the ministry: helping little ones love Jesus.

Day 3:
Don't pray for your volunteers.

It's okay to tell volunteers you'll pray for them, but don't actually do it. Some children's ministers keep a small notepad or Evernote on their mobile devices to take down prayer requests, but be warned: This might actually encourage you to pray for your volunteers. Don't be fooled into keeping an updated list of your volunteers handy; that way you won't slip into accidentally praying for each person by name. Most importantly, don't pause on a Sunday morning for impromptu prayer with a volunteer in the classroom or hallway. Not only is this uncomfortable, but it's also embarrassing for you, the volunteer, and everyone else who might happen to see you. Your volunteers might begin to think you actually care for them.

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