Summary: Develop relationships with your volunteers, but also between your volunteers.
One time I failed in ministry while I thought I was winning. One of the first things I did when I became the Director of Children’s Ministry at my church was to transition from a traditional Sunday School classroom setting to a large group/small group setting. The traditional classroom setting was two teachers with 30+ kids. We transitioned to 15-20 teachers in one big room, each having 8-10 kids in a small group. I needed to sell the vision of the large group/small group idea. One of the positive selling points was “Adult Community as You Served”. I had positioned this change as a relational win for the teachers.
About 7-8 months into this change, a key volunteer came to me and said “You know that blonde lady that sits next to me on the right? What’s her name?” Insert failure. These leaders did NOT know each other as I had envisioned. My hope for a relational win had failed. A change had to be made instantly.
We immediately instituted quarterly gatherings on Friday and Saturday nights at a home. Volunteer families were invited. Kids, husbands, siblings were invited. We made simple soups that could work for both Friday and Saturday night. If you couldn't make it Friday, try to come Saturday. We played barefoot kickball, played board games and we began to experience big wins.
People may sit by each other as volunteers and not know each other as people. It is our job to ensure that volunteers have relationships with us but also relationships with each other. We need creative ways for volunteer leaders to have community.
LEADVOLUNTEERS is a jam-packed resource with ideas to immediately execute so that you can win big with volunteers.
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