How to Lose a Volunteer

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

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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.

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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. 

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About Author

Christine Yount Jones

Christine has more than 26 years of children’s ministry experience. She is the Executive Editor of Children’s Ministry Magazine, has authored many books and articles on children’s ministry, and serves as Group’s Children’s Ministry Champion. She’s responsible for development and innovation of new resources.

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