Losing a volunteer is never easy. It does not matter the reason because it can always feel personal. The question you need to answer is, “Is there something I could have done to prevent them from leaving?”
There are some situations that are completely out of our control. When life happens and people change it’s only natural to move on. It’s in those situations where you need to make sure the person does not feel guilty for leaving. But, then there are the situations you can control. What about them?
The reason a volunteer will leave your ministry is because:
I didn’t always get it right. For many years I just needed bodies. I wasn’t looking for the right people or a solid community. I just needed numbers. While filling up holes in your ministry team is important, it’s not as important as building the core.
Last night we rallied our leaders together to kickoff another season of youth ministry. I love these events because they not only get the year started right, they are also a chance to invest in your ministry core.
Teens had to be there. The activities were too long. I spoke with no point or direction. Our youth ministry program format was perfect for driving teens away. Something had to change.
Maybe it’s your first year in youth ministry and you’ve walked into a mess. Maybe you’ve been in the same place for a while and you’ve hit a rut.
You are disappointed by the attendance. Volunteers are hard to come by. Things need to change. If you are looking to create, tweak or change your youth ministry’s format be sure you:
With summer winding down do you feel like you have enough volunteers? The answer is probably, “No.” The truth is that it never feels like enough. I used to lose sleep as Labor Day approached. I would wonder, “Are we going to be okay?”
The truth is you will be okay, but that doesn’t change the fact that you still need to recruit volunteers. So, how do you make sure you have enough volunteers by the first gathering?
“How could they mess this up?” I had sent my volunteers the link for the game, but none of them came prepared. There I was bailing them out once again. Then it dawned on me, “I don’t think I told them to do anything more than check the link out.”
It is frustrating when it feels like your volunteers are just not getting it. You think about all the reasons why they aren’t meeting expectations, when the reality the reason could be you. Before you blame your volunteers for being incompetent, complacent or disloyal, ask yourself whether or not you have: