“I mean, come-on. Can’t someone step up?” A smaller-church youth leader recently shared that sentiment with me, lamenting a lack of volunteering. Not for the mission trip or for summer camp chaperones. Not for VBS. No, not for any major ask like that.
Instead, they were just looking for drivers to drive the 17 members of the church’s youth mission team…to a bus stop in the next town over. It would have taken four or five vehicles and drivers about 75 minutes round trip. Yet the volunteers didn’t step up. Come on, really?
A lack of volunteering is a struggle everywhere. I get it. People are busy, but who isn’t? And I know there’s a flip-side: Churches don’t always do their part and give helpers what they need to succeed.
But recruiting volunteers shouldn’t be this difficult! Allow me to rant just a bit. In the process, you may discover some strategies to tackle your own volunteer shortage.
Lack of Volunteering: Excuses You May Hear
If I hear the following things again, I may scream:
1. “I can’t volunteer to teach Sunday School. I’d never give up my own Sunday School class.”
Maybe there’s a different way to look at it. If you want that adult class to continue to thrive, maybe it’s worth an investment. Make sure Sunday school and adult classes are still around in 10 years at your church by helping out now. Even helping one time per month will mean you’ll be in your class three times each month.
2. “I’ve done my time. My kids are grown. I need to step aside and ‘let’ someone else have a turn.”
So church members in their 50s+ are exempt? When their kids graduate from high school, parents get to turn in their “pitch-in” card? The opposite is true. When our kids have grown up, it’s an even better time for us to do our part. We have the privilege of passing on the torch of Christ!
Sure, we’re not as young as we used to be. But we’re smarter than we used to be. Sure we’re tired. But we haven’t been chasing toddlers all day or running the neighborhood taxi service.