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How to Lose a Volunteer

Volunteers are like gold--precious and something to hang onto. But if you're not careful, you can lose them without even knowing it.

I love serving in my children's ministry. I love my leader, my team, the kids, the families! I'm hooked on serving every Sunday morning.

Recently, though, I realized that my posiition had "volunteer creep." More was being expected of me than I felt that I'd signed on for. In defense of my director, I'm sure she clarified the expectations to me but somehow I misunderstood. Nonetheless, I was being asked to do things that were overwhelming me. 

I was fine with being the classroom team leader. That involved teaching the lesson, showing up early to prepare the room, reminding and encouraging my team members during the week.

But then it grew to doing that for all the classes--we have three services. Okay, I tried to get on board with that.

But then it grew to not only reminding and encouraging the volunteers in all three 2-year-old classes, but I also needed to schedule them. It was at this point that I had to raise a red flag.

I let my director know I was feeling overwhelmed--and she was amazing! She quickly changed the expectations and my title. And I now feel that I'm back in my sweet spot of service--and not on the verge of wondering what I'd signed up for.

The lesson to be learned here is to be careful about adding responsibilities to your volunteers. Monitor their attitude--even when they've said yes to something but it seems to be too much. Be flexible and willing to change your expectations.

Never forget that volunteers are like gold. They increase in value over time so you want to be careful to not lose them. 

Posted at 15:27


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