5 Reasons Volunteers Keep Quitting

Operations, Service & Volunteer
family, volunteers

We all know that part of growing a healthy church involves getting people plugged into serving roles.  God has gifted them and WANTS them to be on the field, not the sidelines.

But for so many churches, serve teams are like a revolving door with new people coming onto the team, but current team members choosing to quit.

Our churches get stronger as our Groups & Teams get stronger, so anything we can do to shut the back door of our teams will move us forward.

Here are 5 Reasons Volunteers Keep Quitting:

1. The “WHY” Isn’t Clear

WHAT a team does is important, but WHY they do it is what creates real purpose.

Here’s an example: The parking team isn’t there to park cars.  They are there because every week, people who need God are going to show up.  Lots of those people already have their guard up.  They’re nervous about going to a new place, and they may even have a bad perception of the local church.  The parking team is there to connect with them as soon as they are within seeing distance of the church property – communicating that this is a place where they are welcome, loved, and cared about.  People who pull into the parking lot will be wearing masks, and even appear like everything is fine, but the real story is that they are hurting.  The parking team is there to ignore what it looks like on the outside and welcome them with the love of Christ.”

When team members don’t clearly understand the WHY, their weekends are just full of TASKS – like a job with no purpose.

2. “On-Boarding” Wasn’t Good

When a new person joins a team, there should be a clean “on-boarding” process.  It’s literally the “first impression” of the team.  If that experience is bad, there’s a decent chance their tenure will be short.

Make sure your team leaders have a clean and easy “on-boarding” process for joining the team.  Include things like (1) The Why (2) The Times & Tasks and (3) The Expectations.  Most of all, include lots of celebration that they’ve chosen to join the team.

The clearer and easier you can make things as they are on-boarding, the better chance you have that they will serve long-term.

3. They Burn Out

There are times where we all just have to roll up our sleeves and get the job done, but as you are building teams, it’s important that team members can serve according to THEIR schedule.

When they join the team, ASK!  Ask them what kind of serving schedule is best for THEM.

Beyond that, it’s super helpful to use a system where team leaders can plan out the month in advance, send invitations and allow team members to Accept/Decline.  You may want to suggest “every other week” rotations and allow team members to black-out dates when they are not available.

If you simply plug them into a team, and expect them to serve every week until eternity, you’ll see them burned out eventually.

NOTE: If you’re a Faith Teams user, you have access to Volunteer Scheduling, which automatically sends our invitations to serve, with a simple scheduling screen to schedule weeks in advance, like this…

4. They Don’t Feel Appreciated

This is especially an issue for members who have served for a long time.  Honestly, we tend to forget about them.

They’re still showing up early.  They’re still getting the tasks done with excellence.  But over time, we can forget about their sacrifice and service.

Whether you are a small church where one person leads all the teams, or you’re a large church where you have team leaders and coaches, make sure there’s a system for showing appreciation to EVERY team member on a regular basis.  This can be a simple but intentional text message, a hand-written note in the mail, a small gift, etc, but they NEED to know that they are noticed and appreciated.

Yes, they’re doing it for God, but as leaders, it’s our responsibility to make sure nobody on the team feels unnoticed.

5. The “Family-Vibe” is Missing

When you think of Volunteer Teams, you probably think of TASKS that need to be done.

And while doing tasks gives us a certain level of satisfaction and fulfillment, “team-life” must be more than tasks.  There must be a Family Vibe.  There has to be a personal connection with the team leaders and the other team members.  If this is missing, they will feel more like an employee than a team member.

As you develop teams, make sure team leaders understand the value of staying PERSONALLY connected with their team members.  They need to know what’s going on in their lives, what they need prayer for, and what they enjoy doing.

Bottom Line: Care about THEM, not just the Task they do on the weekends.

The personal connection creates a family vibe, which makes it so much more fulfilling for everybody.

The enemy wants to fragment your teams, because there is such POWER in churches that have strong teams.  There will be team members who need to take a break from serving no matter how well we lead, but we can stop the rapid pace of the rotating door by implementing these simple things.

Faith Teams has all the tools you need to schedule, manage, and communicate with team members.  If we can help you with any of this, please let us know.

Most of all, let’s remember that God has entrusted us with these precious people.  Working with people can be messy, but it’s worth the investment.  Let’s build stronger churches by building stronger teams.

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