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Home » Featured, Volunteer Recruiting

5 Signs You Are Recruiting The Wrong Volunteers

Submitted by James Higginbotham on March 15, 2010 – 4:57 amNo Comment

Last week, we talked about the different ways to recruit volunteers for your team. Sometimes the best way to determine if someone is a good fit for your team is to determine who may be the wrong kind of volunteer. Let’s look a few signs that indicate a volunteer is the wrong fit for your team.

Sign #1: The Overcommitted Volunteer

Every church or non-profit has a group of volunteers that sign up for everything. They often say ‘yes’ to every opportunity out of guilt or because of the belief that the more they do the better. Adding an overcommitted volunteer to your team can negatively impact everyone involved because they will fail to show up, under deliver, or burnout and bail.

Before adding volunteers to your team, find out where else they are serving and if they really have the time to commit. To find out, ask their other team leaders as they will never admit to being overcommitted.

Sign #2: The Know-It-All Volunteer

You know the type. These volunteers seem to know everything there is to know about how your team works. If they are being honest, they think they know more than you do – and they just might.

Know-it-all volunteers often suffer from a large ego that will get in the way of your team. Instead of finding know-it-all volunteers, find volunteers with a willing heart to learn. It may take more time to train them, but they will be more willing to learn and offer unbiased suggestions on improving your team.

Sign #3: The Indifferent Volunteer

The opposite of the know-it-all volunteer, these volunteers don’t really care for anything. They tend to never commit to any task, keeping your team from being effective. Often, their attitude manifests itself into the simple mantra “Hey, I’m a volunteer. Don’t like what I’m doing? Then fire me!”

Indifferent volunteers seem dependable, but create a poor attitude that can infest you and the rest of your team. Sometimes their attitude may be as a result of burnout in the past or due to a desire to volunteer out of guilt. Deal with their heart issue first before involving them in any critical areas of your team.

Sign #4: The New Believer Volunteer

When a volunteer is a new believer, they are often “on fire” and very excited. The upside is that they are usually eager and happy to serve in any capacity as a volunteer. This is a great thing and should be part of the process. However, many new believers are still struggling with understanding their new faith and being Spirit-led in their activities.

Be patient with new believers as you integrate them into the team. Don’t be in a hurry to give them activities just because they are excited about their new faith. Encourage them to be discipled and grow into their new faith by limiting their involvement. Finally, allow them to be involved in activities that are simple and don’t involve counseling until they have time to mature.

Sign #5: The Ex-Leader Volunteer

Occasionally, a leader from another church or ex-pastor will begin to attend your church and approach your team. This is especially the case with past worship leaders or Bible study leaders, as they naturally follow their skills and passions at a new church. The problem is that you don’t have any history with them, you don’t understand their heart, and don’t understand their assumptions and beliefs.

Let ex-leaders and volunteers from other churches start slow. Allow them to learn your church and team dynamics first, before allowing them to interject their own processes. Otherwise, you may quickly lose control of your team as they start to introduce constant change and frustration to your team.

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