Dear Volunteer, If you would do 3 things…
If you would do three things, I would appreciate you more than I already do.
As a leader of volunteers, I know full well that when you do your job, it helps me do mine. I’m not a one-trick pony or a one-man or woman band or a lone ranger, or any other cliché indicating I think I can do it all myself.
I don’t take you for granted as much as you may think. However, there are three simple but critical things that would help me do my job even better:
1) Support me.
I know I don’t do everything the best way every time, or the way the last leader did. But I need you to pick and choose with discernment the moments you decide to push back against my decisions. Challenge me in private—and even then, only on consequential matters. Make suggestions, but do my already filled-up-with-ideas brain a favor and make only one at a time. Bottom line: be dog-loyal in your support of me in front of other students and leaders.
2) Tell me to take time off.
I love what I do, but ministry never breaks. I could work 12-hour days and still have emails to answer, phone calls to return, students to mentor, and events to plan. It’s a great problem to have. But it becomes a not-so-great problem when I don’t set a stop-time in my day/week/season/year. Whether I’m single, married, have kids or not, I need refueling time. Encourage me to take breaks before I need them.
3) Pray for me.
Seriously, most people think because I’m the primary leader, I’ve got a spot next to Jesus on the couch. I get tired, lonely, and frustrated. I struggle with temptation, self-image, and comparison. I need your spiritual support. It’s encouraging to know my team prays for me regularly.
Thanks. I really do value you in life and ministry.
Oh, and remind me sometimes that you need me to support, listen to, and pray for you, also. I’m honored to do that for you.
Your grateful youth leader
DANETTE MATTY has been a volunteer youth worker since big hair was in the first time. In October 2010 she crash-landed on the staff of Christ’s Place church in Lincoln, Nebraska where she is Director of Christ’s Place Leadership College, a leadership development program for young adults. You can follow her on Twitter @DANETTEMATTY.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in the YS Blog are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinion or position of YS.