Monday, April 28, 2008

Top 5 Volunteer No-No's

[From Ministry Best Practices by Bill Reichart]

Volunteers are the life blood of any church or ministry. Without those who generously give of their time, talents and energy - nothing would be able to be accomplished by the church (humanly speaking of course). Here are some volunteer no-no's and pitfalls to avoid when working and communicating with volunteers.

1. Never ask a volunteer to help “YOU.”

Ask them to help the church, or help in a classroom. Don’t make it a personal favor to you. Personal favors won't stand up over the test of time.

The focus shouldn't be about YOU.

2. Never thank a volunteer for helping “YOU.”

Remind them of your overall vision and purpose when saying Thank You.

For example, "Thank you for helping us reach all these kids this morning. You’ve been a great help to all of us!” vs. “Thanks for helping me out. I don’t know what I would have done without you!”

And ... the church name should be prominently displayed on any thank you correspondence. Make it about the Church or organization, not me!

3. Don’t ask the same volunteer to do the same thing over and over.

Don’t abuse the willingness of one person to ALWAYS help when needed. Mix it up! Don't go to the same "well" all the time.

You want to avoid not giving others in the church the opportunity and privilege to serve.

4. Never show any displeasure with church leadership to Volunteers.

Teach the Power of Buy-In! Representing our leader’s choices as our very own. This shows our volunteers that we are a strong team, and are working together for a common goal.

Even if it is someone else’s fault, make it our fault (this is where the power of the Gospel comes in - we can own fault when we know that we are SECURE in Christ). If everyone would do this, then rumors and displeasure with leadership would be stopped early and often!

5. Never ask "How did it go today?"

“How did it go today, or this morning?” is an unhelpful question. The question is too vague, and you are certain to get merely a one word answer, "fine".

Ask questions that are directed toward the specific outcomes you and your volunteers are working toward. When you do this, it will give you and your volunteers a real and concrete sense of how they are doing, and it will provoke with them a real discussion of issues or concerns that perhaps need to be addressed.

[ht: littlepastor]

Rick Warren - Exponential Green Room Interview

Are You Burned Out?

According to a London Daily Mail poll, more than half of those reading this right now are completely burned out on the job. How can you tell if you're burned out? If you have lost that satisfied feeling at work and don't even revel in your own job accomplishments, there might be a problem. Are your coworkers asking if everything is okay with you? Have they noticed you acting depressed or even moody on the job? Have you been snapping at everyone?

Here's a telltale sign of work burnout: the minute you return from a vacation, the joy, happiness, and relaxation you felt are instantly gone, and you can't even manage to come back from lunch on time.

Another sign: procrastination is your new middle name.

Dr. Alan Shelton, author of Transforming Burnout, studies worker burnout. He notes that you shouldn't feel alone if you're feeling this particular burn. Some three-quarters of all workers are hit with this feeling from time to time. According to Dr. Shelton, vacations, days off, new hours and outside interests don't always help. Professional counselors can help, especially if you're a workaholic who is stressed out by a desire for everything to be perfect all of the time.

The important thing is to find balance between work and other pursuits. Then work isn't the only focus. Dr. Shelton also suggests the following:
  • Get a physical to rule out more serious health problems.
  • Take care of the spiritual side of life. It will give you focus. Meditation and prayer can help with burnout because they take the focus off work. Make relaxation a priority in your life.
  • Remind yourself that each morning is a new day to be appreciated. On the way to work find two or three things that make you happy, even if it's just a beautiful forest preserve on the side of the road or watching your kids.
  • Exercise helps beat job burnout.
  • Sleep helps beat job burnout.

[Research by John Tesh]