My car has this obnoxious DING and flashing countdown to warn me that it’s time to get it serviced. It is so incredibly hard to ignore!
I sometimes wish that everything in life had this giant warning light when it needs attention. Coming from a wild summer season, my warning would for sure be flashing reminding me to take some time to care for myself.
As ministry seasons go, the transition from summer to fall can be THE MOST exhausting.
You have asked your volunteers to give up their vacation time to chaperone trips, lead on mission projects, and I’m sure there was a VBS sprinkled in there, too. And now you are asking your team to get ready for the big fall kick-off!
If your volunteer team had a warning light, it might be obnoxiously flashing right about now!
So how do you best lead your team in the middle of these seasonal transitions?
How do we keep them . . .
inspired and motivated?
engaged and energized?
happy and excited?
How do we prevent them from experiencing volunteer fatigue?
Since volunteers are a crucial piece of ministry, we can’t let the care of our team be an afterthought. Here are three easy ways to get your team ready for this season of ministry.
This is the perfect time to remind your leaders why what they do matters. They need to know their role is connected to something bigger than themselves. Volunteering has to be more than just asking students to listen and making sure trash is off the floor. Cast vision about what goals your ministry is trying to meet this school year. Record and share a personal story from a student who experienced real-life change last year. We have to remember it’s our job to consistently reconnect volunteers to the bigger purpose and the bigger picture to keep them inspired to serve.
Having a healthy culture among your volunteer team is crucial to retaining your leaders. Serving in ministry can be super rewarding as you know, but having fun while in the trenches – well that keeps the morale of your team up! Fun over time creates connections so have fun with your people. Your volunteers can become their own type of family if you begin to foster that environment. When you do, they will begin to pray together and for each other. They will begin sharing wins together and seek out advice when that warning light starts to go off again. I 1000% believe that if your volunteer team has a healthy culture, leading will mean so much more.
The win for your volunteer team is to feel valued and equipped to handle every moment that comes their way this year. I know you cannot prepare them for every awkward or hard conversation but providing them with excellent training is a great place to start. Just as a student needs multiple voices speaking truth into their lives, I believe volunteers need other voices training them to lead.
Your team will feel valued when you elevate the way you train them. Maybe you do this by bringing in someone to do a specific afternoon of training. Perhaps you show a portion of our Orange Masterclass. Maybe you bring your team to an Orange Tour location. The truth is, you are most likely saying the same things to your leaders. But when they are introduced to a new voice, they may hear something that never heard before. Plus, leaders will feel incredibly valued when they know you have invested your resources into making sure they are ready to lead!
Keep investing. Keep encouraging. Keep connecting. It all matters!