One of the best things you can teach a young person that will change their life is to save money and avoid debt. The mathematics of finances isn’t hard to understand, just hard to follow. If you save money you will have money available to use later on when you need it. Starting to save is a move in a positive direction that puts you on a path towards building wealth. On the other hand, if you chose to spend what you have and then some you begin building debt. When you have debt you have to allocate money to pay off debt, which means you have less to live on, which usually leads to leveraging more debt to cover what you need. This is called managing debt. In Christian circles this is referred to as robbing Peter to pay Paul.
Building volunteer teams is a lot like banking. Our mindset and attitude can quickly lean into the practice of building wealth or managing debt. There are 3 pictures which help to best describe the 3 scenarios every church or volunteer organization lives within.
A ministry, team or organization begins to die when the number of volunteers coming in begins to shrink while the number of volunteers stepping out slowly grows. The front door is small and the back door is wide open. When this happens leaders default towards debt management, turning to flash-in-the-pan methods to bring in new volunteers in order to just stay afloat. Unfortunately volunteers in this scenario can feel under trained and over worked. When a volunteer feels like they are the main reason the team or organization is staying afloat they tend to bail, which requires the leader to continue to turn their attention towards bringing in new people instead of fixing the problem.
Teams struggle when the best they can do is maintain. Yes they are alive and kicking, but they aren’t flourishing. When there is consistency in the number of volunteers coming in and the number leaving that is called keeping the status quo. Your team is in the game and that is about it.
Your organization thrives when there is a growing number of new volunteers coming in and a relatively low number of volunteers leaving. This is building a wealth of volunteer. You know what people with wealth have? Options. The same is true for a team or organization – when you are thriving in terms of the number of volunteers it gives you options. You are able to look at new opportunities to expand because you have margin. You have more time to invest into your volunteers for training and development.
What sort of organization are you currently in? What do you need to close the back door of volunteers leaving? What new things do you need to do to bring in volunteers with fresh passion and energy?