The Equipper Newsletter
August 3, 2009
Churches Equipping Saints for Service

 How to Fire a Volunteer
 by Karen Kogler. This article first appeared in The Equipper in 2006

"You can't fire a volunteer!" That's probably the first thought of many people when reading the title of this article. And the second thought is likely of the particular volunteer or two they'd like to fire.

Just as volunteers will, rightly, leave a position that is not working out, so also they can be asked to leave. The fact that they are volunteers, and the fact that they are working in the church, does not prevent them from being 'fired'—but those facts greatly impact how it is done. Continue this article.
 Related articles
  • The Chip -- Intentional ministry conversations defuse problems
  • When Parents Volunteer -- Parents who volunteer for a ministry because their child is a participant can be a challenge, or a wonderful blessing.
 Working-together examples from non-profits
  • "Kids helped design the newest skate facility in Prairie Park in Elgin, and volunteers are building it;" from Volunteer Park Builders give new meaning to free play. At your church, do staff do most of the planning, or do staff involve the volunteers who will be working on the event or project in the planning of that event/project? When the project/event is for kids, have you tried involving kids in the planning? The linked story gives some good ideas.

  • "We believe most organizations give lip service to the idea that people are important, and yet they really look at their organizations first through many other lenses, and primarily the financial lens." Instead, Colleen Kelly recommends "looking at the people first." From an interview on the book "People Lens" by Volunteer Vancouver. As the body of Christ (I Cor. 12, Rom. 12 and Eph. 4), the church is full of people who are given gifts by God for service. The linked interview above gives the basic idea of the book. If you desire to expand the people-focus of your church's recruitment efforts, the book, a PDF download, is a good buy at only $8.95.
 Personal notes
  • If you're in the northern Illinois vicinity, I'd love to meet and greet you at upcoming Stewardship Learning Events of the LCMS Northern Illinois District. As one of the speakers, I'll be helping churches determine if/how they're a good steward of their people's time and talents. More info and registration. Other aspects of congregational stewardship will also be addressed at this free event, offered in five locations:
        Friday, August 28 at St. Paul NW, Rockford (1-5 pm)
        Saturday, August 29 at Immanuel, Batavia (9 am - 1 pm)
        Friday, September 25 at Immanuel, Mokena (1-5 pm)
        Saturday, September 26 at Trinity, Lisle (9 am - 1 pm)
        Sunday, September 27 at St. James, Chicago (1:30-5:30 pm)

  • Yippee! This summer I completed my M.A. in Theology from Concordia University, Irvine, CA. Having invested almost a year on my thesis, "Disciples in the First Century," I placed it on my website. It's long, and obviously written for an academic setting, but it's also readable. It looks at what "disciple" meant to Jesus' first century audience, and how being a disciple of Jesus compared to being a disciple of other first century groups. Summary and link here.

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The Equipper Newsletter published monthly by
Karen Kogler, Equipper Church Volunteerism Resources