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Why Volunteers Don't Attend Your Meetings

Have you ever asked yourself why no one ever comes to your training meetings? Have you ever bought 200 bagels and 5 boxes of Joe in preparation for 100% attendance by your volunteer teams? Only to have 185 bagels left over. I see that hand, and that hand belongs to me.

What do we do? We blame the people we invited, we blame the methods we used to get the people out, and even sometimes the donuts, but rarely do we look at the content of the meeting itself.

In my experience, most meetings for volunteers are held because of the accumulation of important information that needs to be shared. So you call everyone out to the church on a Saturday for a three-hour meeting on diaper changing policy.

The first big mistake we make is we think people care as much about information as we do. They don’t.

If you want people to attend your meetings, here is what you need to do.

1. Start on time end on time—value their time.
2. 30% Fellowship/Relationship
3. 60% Inspiration/Vision/Values
4. 10% Information—Give people information other ways—email, facebook, blogs.
5. Connect meetings to things they are already attending.
6. Most leaders want to grow. Make your meeting about leadership growth, not trivial facts.

If they know they are going to be poured into and challenged, they will come back. Do them and your ministry a favor. Talk vision and values way more than you talk about putting stickers on freshly changed baby bums.

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Sam Luce has been the children’s pastor at Redeemer Church in Utica, New York for the past 14 years. Currently he serves as the Utica campus pastor and the Global family pastor. A prolific blogger and popular children's conference speaker, Sam has worked in children's ministry for over 23 years and is also a contributing editor to K! magazine.