When Awesome Volunteers Leave Your Ministry

One of the toughest things for a leader in ministry to experience is when a really good volunteer or staff member leaves your ministry. It’s bound to happen. It just hurts when they do.

One of the best volunteers I had served on numerous teams for me. She grew up in strong youth ministry churches, both Catholic and another Christian denominational church. Because of her background, she was an ideal volunteer, having experienced many retreats, youth nights, social justice events, and camps. She had an amazing perspective of ministry to youth.

She added so much value to my youth ministry, it was unbelievable. She was really creative and was able to lead numerous events herself. She had the ability to motivate other volunteers and help them grow to become better volunteers themselves.

She was one of a kind. Then, she left. Ouch.

In the final segment of this series on Leaders Always Hurt and Get Hurt, this is the final way that leaders are hurt in ministry. I sometimes wish I could hold on to all my volunteers and staff forever. But, that is not the case. Good volunteers, good staff members eventually leave.

In fact, if you are training your team well, then they will leave. They will move to other leadership experiences within your church, or maybe move to other churches. Yes, they create a void when they leave, but hopefully they fill a gap when they move to another place to serve in ministry.

That’s what happened to my stellar volunteer. She became a director of youth ministry herself in another church. Although I was sad and hurt to see her go, I was ecstatic that she was now working for another church full-time and sharing her gifts and strengths with that community. And you know what? She had a tremendously positive impact in that other church.

That’s the way it should be. I can’t take credit for her leadership skills. But I hope I helped shape her to become the leader she is today, helping other churches grow.

Question: When have you lost a valuable team member in your ministry?

 

That’s it for this series, Leaders Always Hurt and Get Hurt. Here’s a re-cap of all the blog articles in this 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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