The Six Communications Blunders That Loses Church Volunteers
If you’re on staff at a church or a leader in any way, you likely interact with volunteers on a daily basis. And unfortunately, you’re probably not sitting on an endless supply of volunteers. It’s quite possible that you’re looking for people every week to fill a hole left by a volunteer who’s sick, out of town, or unreliable.
But is it possible that you could be running off volunteers? With some of the emails, letters, and communications I’ve seen from churches over the years, it’s entirely possible. Poor communication can cost you volunteers and church members. That’s why it’s important to avoid these communications blunders.
1. Calling a volunteer the wrong name. I had a friend who was approached recently about a new job. She was extremely qualified and really interested in it, but in her reply, she called the person wanting to hire her the wrong name. She never heard back from him, and the company hired someone else. The same goes for almost any other aspect of life. If you call a volunteer by the wrong name, you risk losing them.
2. Using poor grammar and spelling. Always have a second set of eyes look at ministry communications or announcements. And always read over your emails again before you send them. I even have a delay timer set up in Gmail that gives me 30 seconds after I hit send to make a final edit. I use it almost daily.
3. Making it difficult on the volunteer. Want to turn off volunteers? Have trainings at inopportune times. Want to frustrate volunteers? Communicate with them in a way that makes it hard to keep up with the info. There are new communications tools coming out every month. Resist the urge to try the newest and shiniest toys when it comes to communication. Tried and tested methods are often best.
4. Waiting until the last minute. Don’t send out important announcements about Sunday morning on Saturday night. Don’t wait until days before a deadline to send a reminder. Give people lead-time and be redundant with your reminders. I guarantee there are people who will completely miss the first 14 emails, but the 15th will catch their eye.
5. Not returning calls or emails. If you get a call or email from a church member or volunteer, try to return it within 24 hours if at all possible. Even if it’s a quick email to say you have something else that’s pressing, and it may be a day or two until you have an answer for them.
6. Delegating important communication to your assistant. If something in your ministry is important enough for you to communicate it, then you need to be the one it comes from. It’s good to empower your assistant, but important information needs to come from you if at all possible. If it doesn’t, volunteers and members deduce that it’s not a priority for you, so why should it be for them?
What would you add to this list? Have you made any of these blunders?
Jonathan Howe serves as Director of Strategic Initiatives at LifeWay Christian Resources as well as the host and producer of Rainer on Leadership and SBC This Week. Jonathan writes weekly at ThomRainer.com on topics ranging from social media to websites and church communications. Connect with Jonathan on Twitter at @Jonathan_Howe. This article first appeared on thomrainer.com on August 17.
Image courtesy Richie Lugo, Freely Photos
- Australian state introduces assisted suicide
- Russian Patriarch, UK archbishop call for greater support for persecuted Christians
- Christian debt charity calls soar after TV endorsement
- Christian group calls on undie company to keep kids out of ads
- UK Parliament lights up red for world’s persecuted Christians
What’s The Secret to Being the Most Interesting Person in the Room?
It’s simple: just stop talking. That’s right, stop talking. Most of us want desperately to be heard. We want to tell our story, and mistakenly...
Here’s how to keep your family close
I am not a parenting expert, and really I rely on God as to the steps I need to take with my children on a daily basis to help them grow into all...
After Texas, faith leaders urge Congress to act against gun violence
A coalition of 50 groups representing various faith communities across the nation urged leaders in Congress to take immediate action to curb gun...
Natalie Grant singing one month after surgery
After a whirlwind month of diagnoses and a surgery, Christian music artist Natalie Grant announced Monday that all traces of cancer had been removed...
It took 1000 coffees, but you've ﬁnished your book...
So where to now?
That's where we come in.
We have a team of publishing professionals ready to help you bring your book from your laptop to the world.
We offer cover design, typeset, eBook conversion, and competitive print prices. Oh and you'll also be on Amazon and thousands of websites worldwide.
Let us help you take the next step.LEARN MORE