This week I am going to be doing a series of blog posts on the issue of volunteer burnout. As a 3 year old church plant that hasn’t arrived yet (not sure you ever do) we have a limited number of volunteers to pull from each and every week. Obviously, we are always looking to plug new people into the church by serving but you will always have a limited number of people. So, how do you prevent volunteer burnout? How do you keep people from just flaming out and dropping off the map never to be seen from again?
First let me say these posts are dedicated to the awesome servants at Church of the Suncoast. You guys come early, stay late, and give and give and give. For those of you that have stuck it out and fought through you are my hero’s! There would not be a Church of the Suncoast today if it was not for you.
Second this post is dedicated to the people we have mowed through and pushed you too fast, too hard or too long. You might be at some other church or worse you might have stepped away from the church for a season of life. We are not a perfect church and we have not done a perfect job and our communication can always get better. I hope you know we care for you and that you are always welcome and in our prayers.
So how do you prevent this? A few thoughts today and then look for part 2 later this week:
Give people an out
Make sure you give people an out by either having them serve for a season or by constantly checking in to make sure they are doing OK. There also needs to be an open dialog that they are always able to take a break if they need it.
Let people try other things
One of the things I hope we can get better at is letting people know they can try different areas of ministry if the one they are in does not fit! The best way to find out how God wired you, and where you will get the most life out of your service and thus prevent burnout, is to search around until you find one that fits. There should be this willingness with your staff and key leaders to move people around as needed.
Publically appreciate people
Private appreciation is nice and needed. But, nothing beats being elevated in front of a group of people. So look for ways to elevate your volunteers in front of others when they knock it out of the park!
What ideas have you found that work? OR, if you are a volunteer, what could we do from your perspective??? Leave a comment and let me know.