This week I am doing a two part post on the issue of volunteer burnout. To read part one click HERE. Also, I want to say again, at Church of the Suncoast we have not cracked the code on this. We are not a perfect church and we have over used and over extended people from time to time. Here is a great resource to read if you have ever found yourself in that place:
Mad Church Disease by Anne Jackson.
So here are the final three things that church leaders can do to keep people from burning out and dropping out of the life of your church.
Remind people of the big picture
One of the things that happens no matter how jacked you are about serving God and serving His church is you forget the big picture. The not so glamorous tasks can begin to frustrate you unless you keep in mind the big picture. This is not set up, this is creating an environment for God to come and change peoples lives. This is not taking care of kids, this is showing the love of Jesus to the next generations. This is not changing a poopie diaper... OK, so that one really is a poopie diaper, BUT when a parent comes and sees a fresh diaper on their kid they know someone cared about them!!! So get creative and remind people of why we do what we do.
Pair people up
My goal, and not one we have been totally successful at, is to pair people up. Never let someone do something alone. People need two things from you. A relationship and a responsibility. They have the responsibility if they are serving so now they need a relationship. Pairing people up gives you on the job training and it builds relationships.
Pray before each task
One of the best things you can do is to circle up your team before the event or task and ask them how they are doing and then pray for them. If someone is not in a small group then where else do people in your church have the chance for someone to just pray for them. Out loud. Where they hear it. Where they feel like these people really care about me. It takes an extra 10 minutes but the rewards are worth it.
Again, we have not cracked the code, and like I said in my last post, we have burned people out at times. But that doesn't mean it is "their" fault and as leaders we should do everything we can to make sure our awesome volunteers feel loved, appreciated, and feel like they are not just doing our work for us, but helping to build God's kingdom!
What say you? If you are a church leader or a volunteer I would love to hear what you think. Leave a comment and keep the conversation going.