We all know we cant do what we do without volunteers. They run the show. They are the boots on the ground. They help us make disciples of students. It is our jobs to lead our leaders well. We obviously want to keep them around, but if you don’t, let me tell you how you can run volunteers out of your ministry.
Don’t have a clear vision – Don’t let them know what a successful night looks like for them. Let them guess whether or not they are making a difference. Don’t let them know the vision of the ministry and let them know what practical things they should be doing so they know if they are doing a great job. For small groups, just let them run wild and let them guess what they are supposed to be doing. Let them see the Proverb come true, “Without vision, people perish.”
Be passive aggressive – Don’t have a direct conversation. If someone does something that is not in your guidelines for leaders or if someone gossips or is constantly negative, don’t look them in the eye and avoid contact at all costs. Maybe if you just leave it alone it will go away.
Don’t ever notice little things – Services are busy. We have our own stuff we are worried about, like preaching. Don’t ever notice the little wins of your leaders as they interact with students. Just focus on what you have to do and make sure you don’t ever let them know the great things you saw them doing.
Never have get-togethers – Don’t ever have parties or celebrate what is happening in ministry. Don’t ever have days where you get together and have some sort of training. Don’t ever invite them over to your house and let them be a part of your personal life. Never get them all together and share where you want the ministry to go.
Don’t let them speak into the ministry – You’re the ministry leader, don’t take what they have to say to better the ministry. They are in the trenches sure, but you get paid for it so do what you think. Don’t ever seek advice and see what they think when it comes to events, sermons, trainings etc. They don’t really know anyways and this would give them a sense of ownership in the ministry.
Never have fun – Be all business all of the time. Don’t allow smiling and games. Don’t spend time together so you can laugh. God forbid that your volunteers enjoy being around each other because the students might see that they are having fun and then the students might begin to have fun at service as well. Fun leaks, so keep the fun on the “DL”.
Obviously you are doing to want to do the opposite things if you want to keep your leaders around and I’m assuming you do. These things are simple but important when it comes to having a healthy leadership team who genuinely like to be around each other and work towards one mission… for students to meet Jesus.