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What are your volunteers following?

Sue Miller
Sue Miller Saturday October 3, 2009
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I talk often with newly-hired children’s and preschool leaders about all the curriculum boxes found stacked in their closets their first week on the job. It is obvious that every time a new leader had been hired in the past, a new curriculum had been purchased and implemented. We started imagining all of the change their volunteers had weathered over the years. No wonder volunteers had jumped out of the boat when the previous leader left! They had been recruited to a curriculum, a program, or a leader’s personality. When that changed, the volunteers decided to make a change as well.

This speaks volumes about the need for each of us as leaders to decide on a timeless mission and a relevant strategy to accomplish that mission with our volunteer teams. Recruit them to something significant. Give them a life-changing cause that is worthy of their time, gifts, and effort. Vision-cast that mission regularly to your volunteers so everyone is on board with that which never changes.

Spend some time this week talking with your team about whether they understand they are not serving a curriculum or a leader. See if they are clear on the mission you are trying to accomplish in the hearts of children and parents.

Sue is a leader, author, and gifted communicator. She joined the Orange team in 2005 after 17 years of leading Promiseland at Willow Creek Community Church. Sue was instrumental in leading the change process that grew Promiseland into a cutting edge ministry known around the world. At Orange, Sue travels extensively, feeding her passion to mentor leaders, inspire volunteers, and consult with churches that strive to partner with parents. Sue has recently authored two books alongside Adam Duckworth: "NotNormal — 7 Quirks of Incredible Volunteers" and "Leading Not Normal Volunteers."