GUEST BLOGGER: Today’s guest blogpost comes from @EstherRennick. Esther Rennick is an adventurer, administrator, writer, and songwriter from Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada. Check out her blog Adventures Of Lady Esther: If you would like to submit a Guest Blog Post for BigIsTheNewSmall.com, click here.
We Do Not Serve Volunteers!
Churches around the world give the call to Christians to serve. Millions answer that call in the form of serving in their local church.
For many church volunteers, the experience is positive. With the help of church staff and organizers, the volunteer is given the open door to effectively serve while still having the time to work and have family life.
Unfortunately, this is not the experience of all church volunteers. Many experience a sign posted on the front of the church that says, “We Do Not Serve Volunteers!”
Thousands of volunteers have given up their ministry because they have become burned out and disillusioned. Fingers are pointed as to who is at fault; however, the end result is many have given up on their calling and sit in pews week after week not serving.
If your church has any of the following symptoms, the sign on your front lawn may say “We Do Not Serve Volunteers!”
A Volunteer . . .
- is asked to serve for two hours but it takes six.
- is frequently “expected” to do over and above what they were asked to do.
- is not given the resources they need to do their part.
- is made to feel that their “smaller ministry” is not as important as the “bigger ministry.”
- must work with church scheduling that is not organized. Volunteers may arrive to find the church door locked and meetings cancelled with no notice given.
- will not have a mentor – only potential volunteers receive this service.
- should not expect to grow in their ministry. Volunteers should be prepared to be stuck in their present role forever even if they are a budding leader.
- must be patient and understand responses to emails and telephone calls will not be promptly answered by church leaders or staff. Inquiries may not even be answered.
- should not give suggestions for improvement or articulate what is not working because that is “complaining” which is not allowed.
- must be understanding that it is alright for full-time church staff to work less hours a week than volunteers do. Volunteers are expected to give more.
Volunteers may hear the words that they are loved and appreciated but actions speak louder than words.
If you are not sure that the sign on the front of your church is “We Serve Volunteers!” begin dialoguing with your volunteers. Approach them with a servant heart. Ask them to share with you what makes it difficult for them to volunteer in your church.
Make the decision to make the changes needed in your church that will allow the sign “We Serve Volunteers!” to be proudly displayed on the front of your church. Set a shining example in your community of how to serve all people – including volunteers.
Share your thoughts and experiences!