Editorial by Carl Rodriguez
For more than 25 years, I have personally recruited about 1,000 volunteers. In the process, I have observed five recurring things volunteers are looking for when accepting the call.
First of all, volunteers want to get a sense that the leader of the team comprehends the ministry mission and vision. Though volunteers may not grasp the finite details of all of the team goals, they want to feel that their leader has a strong grasp on the direction and purpose of the team.
Volunteers also want to experience a well-thought-out selection process. This includes taking time to match the gifts and talents of individuals to the roles they are being asked to fulfill. This process helps to convey appreciation and ensures that their time and gifts are valued as they help transform lives.
Trust is a critical third component. When no trust is given to a volunteer as they perform their tasks, it hinders progress. If there is a perceived absence of trust from leaders, many volunteers will simply abandon their post in frustration. First you have to train them, then you have to trust them to do their best.
Next, it’s important to know how to have fun. Volunteers love when an organization shares in the “joy of the Lord.” Bringing food to a meeting or having a sense of humor during a planning session expresses that they are part of a loving community.
Last but not least, how organized is the team? When volunteers see a disorganized ministry, many will not endure it.
We all have the opportunity to experience volunteerism in our churches. Let us be good stewards of the ministries with which God has entrusted us.
Carl Rodriquez is the Youth & Young Adult Ministries director for the Chesapeake Conference.