Summary: If you have an open door policy, are people actually coming to you with suggestions? Do you need to get out of your seat, go out that open door and ask people, “what are we missing?” and “how could we improve?”
If you are a leader in ministry, you want volunteers to stay with you for a really long time. Volunteers who have say are going to be the ones who stay. I believe that a key to retaining volunteers is to give them a voice in your ministry. Allow them to shape the future of the very thing they're serving in.
Now I have to tell you, I struggle with this. And the reason why is that I didn't want somebody who was serving once a month to shape the future. Well, what's going on inside of me that I think this way? Why not allow someone who serves once a month to have a voice? Do I think that somebody who serves once a month can’t have great ideas? I want to have a bias that other people are smart. I need to be soliciting people’s ideas.
Now I had somebody tell me, “Well, you know, I have, what's called an open door policy.” I'm grateful for that, but let me ask you: How many people are walking through that open door. Likely not very many. And the ones who are walking through are usually super perturbed and they're super aggressive, right?
If somebody gets to the point that they are coming to you to tell you how things should change, they're either a super aggressive person or they're really mad. My encouragement: Get out of your seat to go out of that open door and go ask people, what are we missing and how we could improve?
I believe with all my heart that people are smart and I am rarely ever the smartest person in the room. It is in the abundance of counsel that there's victory. So ask your volunteers broadly. What could be changed to give them a voice in how to shape the future? I think it'll make all the difference in the world.