Flashback Friday: How to Force a Volunteer to Care
Every Friday I dig into the archives and dust off an old post. If you haven’t read it, it’s new to you!
That’s a ridiculous post title, because of course you can’t force someone to care. They either care, or they don’t.
But what if it’s not that simple? What if the two choices aren’t just care or don’t care? What if the issue goes deeper?
What if their definition of care just doesn’t match yours? Maybe – in the volunteer’s mind – they’re doing all that they can. Knocking it out of the park. Performing the job you asked them to do. If you asked them, the surprised answer would be Well of course I care. I’m serving, aren’t I? I’m giving my time. I come to the trainings. I show up faithfully.
What if their focus of care is something you can’t see? Defining care is a curious thing. Everyone cares about something: children, career, bank account balances, the Chicago Cubs. And in ministry, most volunteers have a reason they serve, and therefore a reason they care: to feel needed, to give back, to lead others, to obey scripture.
So if we’re going to force a volunteer to care…which I think we’d agree we simply can’t do…perhaps we start in a different place. Rather than care or don’t care, maybe we try one of the following: