Kem Meyer from Granger Community Church has some important thoughts for helping volunteers as they connect in a quality way with ministries of the church. She writes:
People want to make a difference with the time and talents God has given them – they want to be part of a team where they can make an impact. Many times, as an organization or leader, we miss the boat by either making opportunities hard to find or by making a promise we can’t deliver on.
Knowing life transformation happens in relationship and ownership happens in the context of team, I see many churches labor over this question:
“How do we get people to volunteer?”
A more important question I rarely see anyone ask is:
Are we prepared for people when they show up?
Case in point… A few years ago, we noticed people expressing interest in the communications, graphics and web development teams. That’s a good thing. We also noticed, more often than not, people were disappointed after signing up and didn’t stick around. That’s not a good thing.
We discovered the picture people had in their mind when they signed up is not how it looked when they showed up. Potential roles on creative teams like these cover a pretty wide spectrum of disciplines and skill sets (not to mention personalities). Every organization has a different strategy of how and what they use in the spectrum. We are no different.
Ah ha. We owe people some context. That’s what was missing. Without good information, they couldn’t make good decisions about which teams provided the best opportunities for their their time and talents.
So, we took a stab at documenting a framework. It’s not precise or comprehensive. It’s not a policy. It’s not written in stone. It actually changes from month to month. But, it is enough information for someone to determine at a glance, what we do and don’t do. It gives individuals control on the front-end, successfully filtering and self-sorting.
Here’s what one version looked like.
The Communications teams are involved with what you read, touch or click beyond the auditorium. We believe excellence honors God & inspires people. One of our primary goals is to simplify everything our audience sees or touches, to make their life easier and more rewarding, in every aspect of their engagement with Granger Community Church.
* We are here to serve and need to model servant-leadership. Egos have no place on our team. No matter how great the talent, there’s no vacancy for lack of preparation, chronic lateness/missed deadlines or lack of submission to leadership.
* There is an overall ministry, communications and technology strategy in effect at Granger—it drives all the communication deliverables (print, video or online). There is a reason for everything. If you have comments, observations, ideas or opinions…please share. But, also, assume the best and take the time to learn. We value your input and encourage you to share your thoughts with us, but not at the cost of dissention or confusion among the team.
* We are a church that models and expects encouragement from and for each other. Negativism, criticism and complaining are not embraced.
* GCCwired.com, the weekly enews, the weekend bulletin and @GCCwired on Twitter are the main communication vehicles. We also use blogs, Facebook, Vimeo, YouTube and YouVersion.
What We DO:
* At-a-glance, pithy, short, quips, bullets and easy, scannable articles. We are not about more information, but about making existing information easy to find and act on.
* Promote high emphasis events, ministry opportunities, connections and other next steps at Granger Community Church.
* Editing, proofing
* Share life-change stories or brief testimonies.
* Third-party plug-in’s, admin panels and templates.
* Continually review deliverables to ensure they are helping people take their next steps (i.e., keep the “main thing the main thing”), support all-church vision and reinforce core values.
What We DON’T DO:
* Fiction or poetry.
* Detailed or journalistic reports of each ministry/event or full-length testimonies.
* Leisure reading publications or newspapers.
* Big, fat, bloated web sites.
* Proprietary, custom-coding, complicated HTML or donated computers.
* Reciprocal links.
* Try to be all things to all people. Developing sites, pages or handouts just because someone asks for them doesn’t mean they are helpful.
Today, almost everyone who signs up to serve on our team today—sticks. This isn’t the only tool that helps people find their fit on our teams… but, it’s one of them. With better information, people can make better decisions.
For more of her great stuff go to LESS CLUTTER