5 Questions To Evaluate Your Volunteers

I have great volunteers. They’ve worked hard with me. Some have been with me for a year, some have been with for eight years. Part of my role  is to re-evaluate them to see if they need to make a shift in the ministry laterally to another position or if they need to make an exit to another ministry.

Lately I’ve been thinking hard on how to re-engage them. Our youth ministry is pretty loose. It’s pretty loose because our church is pretty loose. That’s the culture of this small, southern church.

We average around 15-20 kids a week. We have events. Our weekly meetings are almost self starting because kids come in, know what to do, and they generally and genuinely love each other.

Because we do not have a large group and because of the culture, there isn’t a ton of stuff for volunteers to do and creating more work for the sake of more work just wouldn’t work.

So, here at the end of the year, I am doing some re-evaluating of the ministry and our volunteers and there are some questions I am needing to ask. If you’re in a similar situation, I hope my thinking out loud benefits you too.

Why Does This Youth Ministry Need You?

This is a strange question, right? Yet I have to ask it. It’s all about leverage. Volunteers have leverage if I absolutely need them to run the program I’ve designed or if the kids needs are so great they need other adults in their life to help them along.

I have leverage if the task side of the ministry is so small I could do it myself. In other words, If I am creating jobs for them to do, I can also uncreate job too and not lose anything by doing so.

At this moment, I have too much leverage, and that’s a bad thing. Much of what can be done in our youth ministry could be done by our college students or younger. It’s possible that I could just scale the ministry down and phase out the few volunteers I have, but that would also be a bad thing, in my opinion.

I asked this question to my volunteers and one of them said, “I don’t think this youth ministry need me” To which I replied, “The youth meeting doesn’t need you, but the youth do.” This particular volunteer had lost their place. I knew that and she did to, but asking this question put it all on the table without a confrontation.

Some of my volunteers are going through a season; a season of personal battles, a season of kids, a season of job change, and a season of working hard to make ends meet. I am empathic to that and I have to make graceful decisions in light of that.

There is a follow up to  this question, “Why do you need this youth ministry?” The answers varied but they all said the same thing, “I want to make a difference” and “I want to be of value.”

At this point, after some though and counsel, I need to put the leverage back in their court. I need to build more value into the program and give them a sense of pride and meaning again. I want, scratch that, I need them to feel like their contribution matters.

“Good leaders ask great questions that inspire others to dream more, think more, learn more, do more, and become more.”
John C. Maxwell, Good Leaders Ask Great Questions: Your Foundation for Successful Leadership

On to the next question.

Question number two: What Is Your Passion Level?

 

 

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