Preventing Volunteer Burnout at Church
An important part of the efficient function of any church organization is the services provided by volunteers. Volunteers are non-paid workers who assist in a variety of ways. Their tasks can be as simple as welcoming worshipers to the church or as complicated as putting together an annual budget. Whatever their task is, they are an indispensable part of the church which is why it is extremely important to ensure that these selfless individuals do not burn out. Tips which help businesses succeed in a collaborative environment, found at MBA Online, can be similarly applied to managing a group of volunteers. There are a number of helpful tips that can be utilized by church leaders, staff and the volunteers themselves to keep them from doing too much.
When one single individual or group of individuals is relied on too much, their commitment can become overwhelming. It is therefore a good idea to make a list that enables a number of church members to sign up for different services that are needed. This enables the church to know what tasks different volunteers are interested in or capable of doing, and rotating their request of help.
Preventing Compassion Fatigue
Depending on the type of task a volunteer is involved in, there is a potential of something called ‘compassion fatigue‘ which is defined as a state of depression or negative attitudes resulting from continual exposure to pain, suffering, or injustice in society. A church volunteer that works with the church’s underprivileged population like the homeless or volunteers on mission trips to developing countries, can easily experience compassion fatigue. The first step to combating this phenomenon is awareness. By helping volunteers realize what compassion fatigue is and providing support, they will be better equipped to deal with it.
Inspiring Increased Motivation
The University of Kentucky published an article describing important aspects of motivation. Two Harvard professors, David McClelland and John Atkinson, classified three volunteer motivators: achievement, affiliation and power, and affirmed that every volunteer is compelled to be attributed by a different aspects of all three motivators, but one tends to influence more than the others in most situations. Recognizing these motivators and applying them can inspire increased motivation in demotivated or burning out volunteers.
Recognizing and Showing Gratitude
Another significant way to inspire volunteers is by making sure they are recognized for their efforts and services, and expressing gratitude for the things they do, no matter how big or small they are.
An article by Baylor University indicated that most volunteers in the United States actually attend church congregations and are predisposed to volunteer outside of their churches having learned and experienced service within the church itself. The church’s ability to raise up balanced volunteers is not only a tremendous help to their own organizations, but to a society as a whole.
How do you protect your volunteers?
This post originally appeared as a guest post by Elaine Hirsch on Scott Couchenour's blog Serving Strong. Elaine is currently a researcher/writer interested in a variety of issues ranging from education to public policy to finance. She's currently developing her web design and editing skills by working on several online projects.
[CC Image • ParaScubaSailor on Flickr]
- Jeanette RichardsDay 1
- Jeanette Richards created a new gallery
- Jeanette Richards just moved in. Take time to say hey.
- Noreen Nix just moved in. Take time to say hey.
- Mike Liebler published the blogpost Mother Confronts Young Daughter’s Alleged Bully With violence.
- Caitlin Wilson published the blogpost Sunday Refreshments with Sharron K. Cosby | Red Light Rendezvous.
- Amy Lathrop published the blogpost Sunday Refreshments with Sharron K. Cosby | Red Light Rendezvous.
- Adam Smith published the blogpost The Simple Things in Life – Tiny House Living – Vincent Russell.
- Courtney Rowland published the blogpost Creamy Parmesan Leek and Mushroom Pasta #SundaySupper.
- Audra Jennings published the blogpost “Real Women Leading” iPad Mini Giveaway and “Leading with Values” Facebook Party 3/20!.
- Kelly Pigott published the blogpost Ashes, Tattoos, the Sign of the Cross, and my Friend Connie.
- Walter Bright published the blogpost Be thou removed: Prayer of a man they called “Consecrated Cobbler.
- George Krickl published the blogpost Poor in Spirit: Paul and Barnabas Discipleship Continued.
- Jennifer Collins just moved in. Take time to say hey.
- Doris SwiftOur greatest fear should not be of failure, but of succeeding at something that doesn't really matter.” ― D.L. Moody
- Doris SwiftEmerge from ordinary into extraordinary; rise above, set apart, walking in the plan as He directs the steps...
- Doris SwiftIf you're feeling stuck in your writing journey~remember, every new idea-every word written propels you forward
- Jon StallingsIf we focus our prayers just on Jesus delivering us from the trials of life, we have set up our own life as an idol
- Melcome Feldspar just moved in. Take time to say hey.
- Leon Bloder published the blogpost Shouldn't All Christians Be Universalists At Heart?.
- Jennifer Alayo-AguilarI am so excited to be here. This is something new that I have never tried before. I am glad to be alive to witness this, a blog post check-out site for Christians around the country, the world to connect with one another. The mini-neighborhood is pretty good. Say prayers for me, my husband, and the rest of our family as we get our lives back together and get on the right track with Jesus Christ. Amen.
- Mike Liebler published the blogpost Livestream Simply Youth Ministry Conference be a part of it!.
- George BullardMarch 8th: Transform Congregations By Radical Missional Engagement #365SSIFTC http://bullardjournal.blogs.com/bullardjournal_microblog/2014/03/march-8th-transform-congregations-by-radical-missional-engagement-365ssiftc.html
- Jennifer Alayo-Aguilar just moved in. Take time to say hey.
- Greg Winfield published the blogpost The Blessing of Struggle – Do You Know What You’re Made of?.
- Stephanie L Burr just moved in. Take time to say hey.
- Mike Liebler published the blogpost 10 Reasons Why Youth Ministry Is A Strategic Career Choice.
- Evan Nehring published the blogpost Announcement: Life Sentence Publishing Partnership.
- Matthew Tan published the blogpost "Justice, Unity & the Hidden Christ": Review in Ethika Politika.
- Brian Dodd published the blogpost The Top 10 Leadership Posts I Read The Week Of March 3rd.
- Nathan Wheeler published the blogpost Prayer, a beautiful mistake: Atheism For Lent Part 1.
- Allen O'Brien published the blogpost Mark Driscoll’s Publishing Tactics Trigger A Golden Age For Christian Publishing.