How to Challenge Your Volunteers
Sometimes a volunteer needs a break. In a previous post, I shared five ways to care for a tired team member.
And I still stand by what I said from that previous post: “If they say they’re tired, believe them.”
But what if they’re simply wavering? What if they’re unsure? Sometimes, good volunteers just need a good friend to nudge them to stay in the game.
1. Start with a conversation.
Don’t make assumptions on their behalf. Ask good questions and listen well. Look for opportunities to encourage them to step back, but also take the chance to speak truth to areas where they are believing lies.
2. Make an adjustment.
Is your volunteer burned out because they’re not serving out of their strength or passion? Maybe it’s time to make a change, swap a team, or learn a skill.
Is there a particular aspect of their role that is giving them grief? Perhaps you can make an allowance for a season (arrive later or earlier, sit out of an assignment, etc.). Don’t give them a permanent free pass to not do what you’re asking your other vols to do, but there are times when a brief lessening of responsibility is appropriate and helpful.
3. Give greater responsibility.
A bored volunteer is an at-risk volunteer. If they have a general sense of malaise but don’t really want to step away, ask them to step up. Let them lead and you might just watch them soar.
4. Remind them who they are.
Jesus doesn’t love your volunteers more just because they’re volunteers. But it’s fair to remind them that disciples of Jesus do serve. We don’t all serve in the same way, but we should all be servants. If they’re not serving in this capacity, which capacity will they choose?
5. Touch base.
Don’t assume a one-and-done conversation. Make sure you’re following up with your volunteer to see how they’re doing and how the new steps are working.