We are about to enter into a few crazy weeks of camp. I’m pumped! Right after though, we will be talking through the fall and what that looks like. We are going to do a little 24 hour get away and plan. This year, we are bringing some volunteers with us. Why? It is a simple brain storming meetings asking for their thoughts on the direction we should be going, what they think their students need to hear, and what was missed in the material we provided for them this year. I figured, who would have a better pulse on our students than the ones who spent the most time with them?
Here are some benefits for asking for volunteer's inputs:
They feel/are valued - In general, when people are included in something, they feel valued. In instances like this, they are valued greatly. What they bring to the table is the best weapon for prepping for next year.
They feel they have a voice - When volunteers have an input in direction of anything, they feel like we actually listen to them. It's not as easy to be given something and be passionate about it as it is to have your hand in something and be passionate about it. Curriculum and structure won't be something ordered rather than something they helped create.
They feel ownership - When you have a say in something you feel like you own it. You're proud of the end result. Therefore, you are excited about it and want to get others in on it. This is exactly what involving volunteers in brainstorming meetings does. Especially if you are going to change things up a little bit (which we are next year), it's important they feel like they have a part in it.
They have the inside scoop - Leaders are in the trenches like we are. Yes, we might be paid for it (or not even) but they are the ones who are talking with, hanging out with, spending time with the students in your ministry. They know what topics are right on and they know what topics are missing; lean into that.
We have a ton to learn from them - We have so many leaders who are just total studs. Leaders in which I get to hang out with and I end up walking away challenged and encouraged because of the ministry they are doing. There is a ton of great things to be learned when it comes to leading groups from some leaders. When we get all of our leaders together, they get a chance to share their wisdom and experiences with each other and they walk away feeling heard, inspired and challenged.
Moral of the story? Get your leaders involved; it will only make you better.