What kind of mindset are you building into the volunteer culture of your church? Is your church a place where volunteers are healthy, excited, and reproducing? Or do you find that every weekend is an adventure in just getting by, hoping that Sunday runs out before your sanity does?
A “simply surviving” culture isn’t sustainable. It will kill your volunteers, and it’ll kill you. On the flip side, a serving culture breathes and breeds life, drawing people in rather than pushing them away. Here are a few more characteristics of each:
A surviving culture…
- …has no obvious way forward and no compelling vision.
- …has next-to-zero leadership. Meaning, no one has taken authority or been given authority to say “I’ll own that.”
- …spends its days reacting to emergencies rather than proactively planning or wisely responding to genuine opportunities.
- …leaves staff and volunteers and guests exhausted, frustrated, demoralized, and burned out.
A serving culture…
- …is the result of a clear “why” behind the reasons that we serve.
- …is a place where everyone is an asker. Everyone shoulder-taps. No one expects that pastor or staff to do all of the recruiting.
- …is a place where there’s never a full roster…not because you’re full, but because you’re always creating space for people’s gifts to be used.
- …is a place where there’s a clear chain of command, and therefore, a clear span of care. No one person is responsible for everyone on the team.
- …is a place where people may not necessarily know their gifts, but they know you’ve created a safe place for them to explore what their gifts may be.
Is your church serving…or simply surviving?