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How an Inspiring Vision Attracts Volunteers

I was speaking at a conference once about vision and volunteerism, when about 10 minutes into the workshop, one of the attendees got up and walked out. I’ve been a conference attendee. I know that sometimes workshops aren’t what you think they are going to be, so you politely duck out and find another one. Not a big deal, and honestly, I didn’t give it too much thought until about 20 minutes later, he walked back into the room.

At the end of the class, I spoke with him and he said, “Sorry if I was a distraction, coming and going. I just didn’t see what having a vision statement had to do with volunteerism. But I decided to come back and see what else you had to say.”

I asked them how volunteerism was at his church and he said something very telling. He said, “It’s terrible. We can’t get people to help and when we do convince them to step up, they don’t stay very long. We just can’t understand why people won’t commit.”

And THAT is the exact point about what vision has to do with volunteerism. People volunteer because they want to make a difference in the world.

It is that simple. If they don’t know what you are doing, where you are going, and what the overall goal is, they aren’t going to stay.

Proverbs 29:18 says, “Where there is no vision, the people perish.”

The Message Version puts it this way, “If people can’t see what God is doing, they stumble all over themselves;?but when they attend to what He reveals, [the vision]?they are most blessed.”

As church leaders, it is your primary responsibility to cast the vision. And it is critically important that you help every member of your volunteer team stay connected to that vision. If your church has trouble gaining and retaining volunteers, you might not have a volunteer problem. You might have a vision problem.

As a church leader, how well do you think you are doing at casting vision with your volunteers?