I recently ran into a youth ministry that had all the volunteers it needed in the middle school area. You know how many volunteers it’s high school had? Zero. Nada. Zipola.
When working with a church or talking with youth workers, here are five common mistakes or dynamics i often see at work. Check if these sound familiar to you:
1) No Volunteer Packet: The best volunteers want to know what to expect. They’re not afraid of hard work; they’re more afraid of the unknown work. Give them a packet with their job description, calendar, vol expectations, etc.
2) You give and take away: Volunteers signed up to do what they were asked to do. They don’t want to make the effort to participate and prepare only to have you do their job for them.
3) A “fly by the seat of your pants” approach only works for pilots: I met a woman this weekend who anyone would love to have on their YM team. The reason she quit working with the YM? “I love (name of YP) but he was too hard to work with. Always late w things I asked for. I just gracefully faded away.”
4) You don’t get because you don’t ask:Â Want something done? Ask a busy person. A huge recruiting mistake is never asking someone in the first place.Â You assume their answer will be “no.” Let them say no for themselves.Â
5) An “Eeyore” reputation: “Whoa is me. I can’t get any volunteers. Our YM isn’t that great anyway. I’m all I got.” (Said in a pitiful voice). Who wants to be a part of that? No one, that’s who! So, stop it. No one want a ticket on the Titanic when a Carnival Cruise is so much more fun.