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VOLUNTEERS: Respecting Those Who Volunteer

We’ve been talking this week about those who are called to serve at your church – those whom we have typically, in the past, called “volunteers”. We’ve learned that we should expect that our congregants should be serving out of desire to serve our God rather than a simple whim to “volunteer” for something. We’ve learned that we, as a leadership within the church, need to ensure that we are properly assimilating people to the areas they serve. Now, we need to take a look at one last area: learning how to properly respect those who are serving.

1. Respect Their Time

If you have enlisted someone to serve in an area – the worship team, for instance – then one of the easiest ways you can cause disharmony is by not valuing their time. Chances are – YOU are paid as staff…they, on the other hand…are not. If you say that a rehearsal starts at a certain time – then START it at that time. Likewise…END at an appropriate time. I struggle from time to time with keeping my own advise and, when I do, I see the struggles within those who serve. Don’t waste their time either. If there are materials that your workers need to be successful – have them ready ahead of time. These small considerations of time are crucial in an effective relationship between the server and the church.

2. Respect Their Role

If you have properly assimilated a person into an area of their calling within the church – then you have the right person for the right job. Remember that the next time you try to micro-manage them, please. All-too-often we treat those who volunteer their time to serve as if they are simply “extra hands” instead of those who are crucial to the work of our churches. If you place someone in an area and give them a role – let them flourish. Allow them to come to you with ideas and become their own leaders in their own segments of the church. Nurture their growth and trust in their leadership…after all, you placed them there for a reason…right?

3. Respect Their Willingness

Perhaps one of the deadliest killers of those serving within the church is burnout. We properly assimilate someone to a particular area and then associate them as being part of our little “club” of those who will help in any areas of need. You’ve seen it before…and probably even done it before. “Call _________, he/she will do it.” The problem is that, yes, most of us WILL do it…mostly out of an obligation to the church. Then, there almost always comes a point when burnout sets in – and when it does – it usually causes a pull-away from every area of serving.