I’ve been writing about the Top 5 Essentials for our Volunteers . . . #5 – provide resources, #4 – provide training and #3 – thank and encourage your volunteers. Last week I said, “When someone volunteers to give of themselves and their time to serve in your children’s ministry, they are giving something truly precious. When you thank and encourage them you are showing you understand the value of what they offer, you sincerely appreciate what they offer and most importantly, you sincerely appreciate them!” and then I gave a couple things to keep in mind and nine ideas for thanking your volunteers! Today I’m going to look at #2 – give your volunteers a listening ear!
We all have busy lives with stress, sometimes we just need someone who will listen. If we are too busy to stop and listen to the concerns and cares of our volunteers, then we are too busy. Be sure your volunteers know they can come to you if they need a listening ear and then listen and pray with them. One word of caution; be certain when you give a listening ear, you are not a party to gossip. If a volunteer begins to gossip, stop them. Encourage them to go to the person they are talking about to try and work things out. Do NOT allow giving a listening ear to become a vehicle for gossip. But, if your volunteer is not gossiping and just needs someone to listen, be that person.
In addition, be sure to be a person who not only listens when a volunteer shares their struggles and cares, but one who asks regularly how your volunteers are doing and who asks for prayer requests. Don’t just tell a volunteer you are praying for them, ask them if they have any specific things you could pray about for them. When a volunteer shares a prayer request, stop whatever you are doing and take a moment to pray with and for them right then and there.
A listening ear is one of the most precious things you can give your volunteer . . . it communicates better than words, you really do care! In my next post I’ll share the #1 essential thing you can give your volunteers . . . prayer!