The reality of ministry life is that, at some point, your volunteers are going to leave. Not [necessarily] because they don’t like you, but simply because they are moving, or have health or family issues, or simply want a new challenge in a different area of ministry. Treat leaving volunteers well. How you treat them when they aren’t directly benefiting you shows what you really thought of them – whether you loved them as people or simply saw them as a “human resource.” I will confess that I have not always done a good job on this – I am so future focused that I sometimes forget to celebrate the past and show compassion and care in the present. Looking around at other church leaders, I think that’s a ball that many of us drop.
To do better, I suggest following the “3 C’s Of Volunteer Departures” [in full transparency, I may have just made that up… : ) ]
Congratulate them – thank them for what they have done. SPECIFICALLY what they have done, the impact that they’ve had on the church and congregation;
Celebrate them – publicly call out their servant hearts and admirable traits. Make a big deal about them in front of the team;
Commission them – send them out into the future with the understanding that their service to God continues.
Hmmm - well, let's see...
I'm a Christian, a husband, a dad, a son, a pastor, a consultant, a musician, a writer, and bits and pieces of a bunch of other things. My work life has followed three main phases - business to teaching to church. I was the Weekend Services Pastor for nine years at Northview Church, an awesome church in the Indianapolis suburbs. I used to work for Willow Creek, another awesome church in the Chicago area. Plus I've written for various magazines and websites, and other freelancy sorts of things... My life mission is to help the church be as excellent as it can be.
Oh yeah - the name's Greg. Greg Wallace. But not the race car driver or the major league pitcher or the British celebrity chef. Just the creative worship guy. Hi.
It's my hope that these ideas, musings, rants, raves, etc... will inspire you. They're just my opinions - but again, I hope that they'll help to inspire you. Because the church really, really needs inspired creative types. If you're a creative type (and most people are, deep-down), ask God for help. Then take any ideas that are useful to you - borrow them, nab them, use them, adapt them - and make them into something greater...
You can head over to my Instagram site for an abundance of shorter posts: creativeworshipideas. If you're looking for consulting - especially on weekend services, team leadership or multi-site strategies - I'd love to help. Just message me here, and I'll be in touch - Greg
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