One of the biggest reasons a volunteer will stop serving is due to a lack of direction. If they don’t know what to do, when to do it or how they’ll lose site of their purpose.
As the leader it’s your responsibility to make sure your team is set-up for success. While trainings and resources are important communication is what matters most. Especially when it comes to these four areas:
BEFORE THE PROGRAM BEGINS:
You don’t want to overwhelm your team with loads of homework, so keep it simple. Remind and encourage them to:
- Review the materials and make sure you are clear.
- Pray for the students during the week.
- Contact you (or their direct report) if a conflict comes up.
When they know how to prep for the program they’ll be more likely to walk in with confidence.
WHEN THEY ARRIVE TO SERVE:
It’s awkward to walk into a room and not know what to do next. Your volunteers don’t now (especially if they are new) whether to hang with the students or meet with you first.
Develop a plan where they know what comes first (i.e. picking up a name tag) and how to behave until program begins. This way you aren’t running around wondering, “What’s everyone else doing?”
DURING THE TIME THEY ARE SERVING:
Your volunteers are there to serve you, the next generation and the church. Make sure they know how to do that. Don’t just hand off a sheet of questions or a text book and expect them to catch on.
Give them direction by explaining to them how to navigate the content. Give them instructions on how to deal with obnoxious teenagers and make sure they know what you are trying to accomplish.
If your team knows how to behave they will give you more capacity to lead. You’ll be able to take on more responsibility and create a deeper program.
AFTER THE PROGRAM ENDS:
Let your volunteers know that their commitment to serve extends beyond the program. Just as they should prepare for the week ahead it’s important for them to follow up. For example:
- If they are small group leader they should touch base with teens and their parents.
- Give them permission to reach out to you with any issues, concerns or questions.
- Encourage them to share high points or success stories from their experience.
The overall goal is to create a culture where your leaders feel connected to a team. They are going to feel like a community the more they are clear on what it is you want them to do and how it is they should behave.
Question: How else can you set-up your volunteers for success? You can leave a comment by clicking here.
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