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Are Your Volunteers Facing Hidden Costs?

A guest post by Matt Morgan

Recently, my wife and I purchased a house that needed some TLC. One of the tasks we needed to get done was to have the carpets replaced. We thought this would be a simple task, but not so.

We decided on a store and a carpet sample, and then we scheduled them to do their thing. But after talking with an employee of the same store and an employee with another carpet store, we realized we would be slammed with a few hundred dollars worth of hidden charges that we were not aware of on the front end of the deal. We felt tricked and very angry. Needless to say we quickly cancelled the deal and went with a different company.

In this process, I thought about how ministry volunteers must feel when they’re hit with the hidden costs of serving. We’ve all been guilty of sugar coating time commitments, understating expectations, and making a short list of duties while recruiting them, only to expect more after they’re on board.

As you recruit ministry partners, are you being clear about the expectations, commitments, and duties? Are you setting the bar high enough to make it clear that their roles have eternal significance?

Try asking more of your leaders in this coming year, and be clear on the front end about those expectations so that no one feels tricked later. You may lose a few commitments because of the higher demands. But I think the strategy is worthwhile because eternity truly is at stake. In the end, no one wants to be tricked into serving. If we’ll cast a clear vision for how they can be a part of what God is doing, then they will see the requirements and be willing to pay the extra costs of serving.


Matt Morgan serves as Preteen Pastor at Fellowship Bible Church in Little Rock, AR. Matt has served in Children’s Ministry for 10 years with churches in Arkansas and Missouri. Matt is married to an amazing woman, Dana, and she is a wonderful mother to their daughter, Maggie Jane.

Catch up with Matt on Twitter or Facebook, and be sure to check out his blog, too!