Every Friday I dig into the archives and dust off an old post. If you haven’t read it, it’s new to you!
Imagine the scenario: you’ve made a big push to invite new people to serve on your volunteer team. You spent weeks designing the publicity, made dozens of phone calls, sent hundreds of emails, had countless hallway and sidewalk conversations, and prayed at every turn that God would let somebody show up for your training please please please I’ll do anything up to and including living in a mud hut in Africa.
And when the day of your orientation comes, so do the people. They show up intrigued, ready to learn, and eager to hear how they might serve the church. So you give it your best shot. You leave it all on the field. And to your delight, you convince every single person to sign the card and actually join the team. The next week, you feel like a rock-star leader because you just grew your volunteer base by five or ten or twenty percent. The seasoned volunteers are encouraged and relieved that reinforcements have shown up, and the rookies have the right mix of wide-eyed wonder.
And then…the following week you’re back to square one. Little if any of the new volunteers came back for a second week of service. They didn’t tell you they weren’t going to show up, they just didn’t show up. But why? Why did their eagerness in orientation and their wonder in the first week of service not translate to a return trip and a lifetime of volunteering?
I think if we could get inside the heads of these volunteers – or at least get them to be brutally honest with us – we’d hear them say at least five things: