For about 3 years of our marriage Cami and I lived in this amazing historic home in downtown Buford, GA. The house was built in 1904, and had a great story and legacy that came with it. I am not sure if you have ever had experience with an old house, but there is something that comes along with the great stories…issues! That old house had a ton of issues that popped up and required attention. We were constantly tending to a problem in that house. Many of the problems came down to one issue – someone attempted a quick fix. I know in the South WD40 and Duct tape are the fix all tools – but some problems require time and attention or they will only grow in complexity (and cost).
In that old house we learned to beware of the quick fix for problems that pop up, and that warning applies in our work with volunteers as well. Most of us know the danger of using Duct tape to fix house problems – it solves the issue on a surface level but does not address what could be a bigger underlying issue.
In a growing environment where people and leaders move around quickly we must be careful to avoid quick fixes. We in the church work in a world of volunteers – it is essential that we slow to the speed of relationship as we tend to issues and needed change.
Ministry adjustments and “fixes” over time are essential to keep a ministry growing and thriving, however we must be attentive to the fact that changes affect our volunteers. We should always look for ways to make our ministry better – more effective processes, better systems of care…but be careful to not dishonor your volunteers by running over them in the name of improvement.
No one likes change, which means in the process of making improvements we as leaders must slow down and assist our people to embrace coming change.
As you work in your ministry and find ways to improve, beware of the quick fix. That does not mean to just sit and watch problems fester – but be sure to use emotional intelligence and leadership thinking as you act. If you lead volunteers, you are called to take people on a journey. That requires slowing down – so that in the end our ministry is stronger and our volunteers are better.