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How To Lose Your Volunteers in 25 Days

Christiaan VandenHeuvel

Day 17:
Be vague in all things.
Assume that volunteers already know what's going on in your ministry, and if they don't, they'll come to you and ask. Volunteers are busy enough. Don't interrupt them with frequent emails, handouts, video messages, Facebook updates, and phone calls. Assume your volunteers get a thrill from discovering what's happening in the ministry on their own. Surprise!

Day 18:
Provide curriculum at the last minute.

Make the lesson guides available online two or three days before the weekend. You and I both know that no volunteer reads the teacher prep and devotion that's provided anyway. Make the link hard to find by sending it only in an email. Never print out the leader guides weeks in advance. If you finally do give them a link, link to the wrong age group, last week's lesson, or to TMZ.com. Let the fun begin!

Day 19:
Go with the most difficult-to-use curriculum available.
To really stump the volunteer who's preparing at the last minute (refer to Day 18), use hard-to-read, user unfriendly, text-laden materials. If the leader guide has illustrations on how to explain a lesson, or a chart that spells out what supplies they'll need, don't include it. Or decide at the last minute to write your own curriculum. I suggest formatting it in ComicSans font size 10 for maximum frustration.

Day 20:
Use impossible-to-find supplies.
Look for ways to incorporate the use of pool noodles in activities in January, pumpkins in February, and ski poles in June. Make life for your volunteers as difficult as possible.

Day 21:
Never put a limit on the number of kids in the room.
Stuff as many kids as will physically fit in the room. Rule of thumb: If you have free space on the carpet for another child to sit criss-cross-apple-sauce, you can add another. (This tip might not work if you have an overzealous fire inspector attending your church.)

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