As a youth Pastor and CEO of a Nonprofit, my reality is that I cannot do it on my own. I need people. It is going to take building healthy teams to help us accomplish the vision that we have for our ministry and organization. One of the questions I am often challenged with, is how much is too much to ask of a volunteer?
Lately, I have had this change in my thought process concerning this question. Probably for the last 4 years, I have hesitated to ask a whole lot of volunteers because I knew that I did not have the resources to pay them.
In order to get volunteers committed to going the distance with you in the ministry or organization you are leading, here are just a couple of points on what you could do to ensure their longevity of serving:
- Be more invested in the people than you are the work.
When you as the leader are far more invested in the work than you are serving the people, you create a disconnect between you and the volunteers. When you make the shift from being task focused to people focused, you will find that majority of the people who are serving with you are willing to go the distance not just for the organization but for you as a person as well. How invested are you in your volunteers?
This year I know that the task ahead of me will be a heavy task and there is no way that I will be able to accomplish it all without having a group of committed and dedicated volunteers helping to carry the load. I realize that I have to be a good steward of not just the vision that I have but the people that are around me as well.
“If you invest more in the people then they will invest more in the vision.” – Jose
2. Communicate from the beginning the workload and expectation of their role.
Going into this year, I made it really clear to all of the volunteers on my team that this would be our most busy and productive year. I even shared with them what each week of expectations would look like and how to measure if you are being a great volunteer or not. As a younger leader, I used to shy away from this part because I did not want to scare the volunteers away. Then as I gained experienced, I learned that if they could be scared away then they should be.
Volunteers who last will be the ones that are committed to both, you as a person and the mission to which you are trying to accomplish. Volunteers that do not last will be the ones that are committed to only you as a person or involved in the mission so they can get something out of it for themselves.
Volunteers will be less effective if they do not respect the leader but love the work.
- Do not be afraid to ask for what you really need.
It would be unfortunate for you to be able to have the right team, be invested in their growth and not get the type of results that you are looking for simply because you did not really ask for what you needed.
If you are going to grow this year, you are going to have to ask more of your team.
In order to ask more of your team, you have to move past the fear of what they might say or think. If you’ll commit to asking big of your team I am sure that you will be utterly surprised at the response you get.
This year do not let your excuse be your volunteers. Believe in them. Invest in them. Ask of them. You will find that they are on your team for a reason, they understand there is a work to be done and a need for them to be there. Do not hold back. Go after all that you are supposed to this year!