The Endless Spiral Not Worth Entering

photo by the pale side of insomnia

Over the past 8 weeks, we have explored different strategies to recruiting, training, and sustaining volunteer ministers. You can find a summary of posted articles below.

One thing I have learned while putting these ideas to print is that most of us don’t spend enough time with this process. When we don’t give it the time it needs, we get stuck in a spiral of low volunteer involvement. This is what it looks like:

  • We don’t spend enough time recruiting and recruiting well…
  • So, we don’t have enough volunteers to do ministry at the level we hope…
  • Therefore, we don’t train the volunteers we do have well because we are so busy trying to run other aspects of the ministry…
  • That means the volunteers quickly get demotivated…
  • So we run over to motivate the volunteers…
  • Therefore, other important ministry tasks fall off the plate and can’t be accomplished…
  • That means we try to recruit more volunteers to help, but we do it poorly…
  • Because we have to train the new volunteers and sustain that ones we already have…
  • While, we try to keep the plates spinning.

The most important lesson I have learned is to slow down. Have realistic expectations of what parts of the ministry we can manage and manage well. The most important task we can do is not the ministry to youth or managing the budget. It’s not answering emails or attending staff meetings. The most important task is to spend intentional time recruiting, training, and sustaining volunteer ministers.

When I started my first full-time ministry position, I gave myself less than 2 months to start a new ministry to youth from scratch. From idea to launch, I didn’t give myself enough time. Did I lead a decent ministry? Yes. Was it excellent? No. To this day, the lesson I learned from that experience was that if I just spent more time on the front end with my team of volunteers, we could have done better ministry

Give it time! Recruit, train, and sustain volunteers well. When you do, you’ll find that your ministry will move to a whole new level!

Question: What will it take for you to spend more time in your efforts with volunteers?

 

Summary of posts in the “recruiting, training, and sustaining volunteer ministers” series:

John Rinaldo

As the Business Manager at St. Catherine Catholic Church in Morgan Hill, CA, Dr. John Rinaldo serves as the administrator over operations and finances for the parish in support of all parish ministries. Previously, John served as the Director of Youth and Young Adult Ministry for the Diocese of San Jose, empowering parish communities to minister to the needs of youth and young adults. John is also an adjunct professor at Santa Clara University teaching pastoral ministry courses to graduate students.


John Rinaldo


As the Business Manager at St. Catherine Catholic Church in Morgan Hill, CA, Dr. John Rinaldo serves as the administrator over operations and finances for the parish in support of all parish ministries. Previously, John served as the Director of Youth and Young Adult Ministry for the Diocese of San Jose, empowering parish communities to minister to the needs of youth and young adults. John is also an adjunct professor at Santa Clara University teaching pastoral ministry courses to graduate students.



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