Volunteers Need The Opportunity for Advancement

Wayne Stocks —  August 15, 2011

AdvanceIt’s been a few weeks since I did an installment in the series of things your volunteers want you to know.  We have been dealing with issues of Passion.  So far in the series, we have covered:

    1. Your Volunteers Are Passionate About What They Do!
    2. Your Volunteers Want You To Use Their Passion!
    3. Share Your Vision With Your Volunteers
    4. Give Your Volunteers Autonomy

Today we will look at our fifth and final point in the category of passion:

Your Volunteers Need the Opportunity for Advancement

Along with autonomy, your volunteers want a chance for advancement. You should constantly be evaluating your volunteers’ strengths and weaknesses with an eye towards finding ways to give them more responsibility and more authority.

Do you have a Sunday School teacher who has been in your ministry faithfully for 10 years? Find out if she would like to plan the teaching time for next Summer’s VBS. Ask him if he’d like to be a coach for other Sunday School teachers. Do you have a small group leader who just has an amazing way with kids? Ask him if he would be willing to put on a training seminar for your other volunteers.  Do you have a volunteer who seems to take care of the “little things” before you even think about them?  Ask her to serve an administrative role in your ministry.

Just because you found the right fit for a volunteer when they started doesn’t mean that that’s where they should be for the rest of their time in the ministry. Many times in the corporate world advancement is all about more money and more recognition. When it comes to your volunteers, advancement is clearly not about the money, and my experience is that most volunteers aren’t in it for the recognition.  What the possibility for advancement does for your volunteers is give them a way to become more and more integral to the vision of your children’s ministry. That possibility, and accomplishment, will help to fuel the passion that they already feel for God’s kids.

When you have volunteers who are doing well and are really good at what they do, try to find additional things for them to do and supervise.  This advancement and increasing responsibility will further motivate and encourage your volunteers.

This is not to say that if you have a volunteer that has reached the maximum level of their ability that you should promote them into a position where they have no chance of succeeding at.  However, don’t assume that your volunteers want to, or should, stay in the same position for the entire time they are serving in your ministry. Look for chances to give them additional responsibilities and authority.

Come back next time as we begin to explore things your volunteers want but might not be willing to tell you in the area of service!

Wayne Stocks

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Wayne is married to a wonderful woman and has four kids whom God uses to teach him on an almost daily basis. He is blessed to volunteer in a wonderful children's ministry at New Life Church Gahanna. He established Kidmin1124 for those who give their time to kids and feel passionately about children's ministry. When he isn't working on Kidmin1124, he maintains another blog at WayneStocks.com and contributes articles on a regular basis to Ministry-to-Children.com.

2 responses to Volunteers Need The Opportunity for Advancement

  1. Great idea Wayne. We are exploring this idea right now with having volunteers lead other groups of volunteers. Not only has it made our staff’s jobs easier, but it has added so much value to our coaches and other volunteers as well.

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