3 Essential Elements when Firing a Volunteer

Removing a volunteer from a team is never an easy decision. It requires both careful thought and prayer.  To lead volunteers is to steward relationships as team members connect with each other and with you as the leader.  In order for the team to thrive, these relationships must be healthy.

In rare situations it becomes clear that health is no longer possible. When a team member reaches that level of unhealthiness we as leaders must make the hard decisions that will both protect the people on the team, the mission of the team and the spiritual development of the unhealthy person.

Removing a volunteer from your team means walking into a very delicate conversation.  You as the leader are removing a person from your unique team, but you carry the name and brand of your organization in your role.  You are a representative of the organization, and the way you handle the conversation reflects on the organization as a whole.

When you are faced with firing a volunteer from your team, here are 3 essential elements for the conversation:

Respect – When removing a volunteer from your team ensure they feel respected throughout the process.  Even if they have caused chaos and leave a wake of clean up, treat them with respect. (click to tweet) Respect is a core need within each of us – no one desires to be cast aside.  This conversation might be the last thing they remember of the team; ensure that they are treated with kindness and dignity.

Clarity – Make sure you provide clear reason and explanation as to why the person is being removed from the team.  Many times the breakdowns that have occurred are not original; offering clarity allows the person to see potential patterns of unhealthiness in their life.  If a person is not clear on why they are being removed they will never have a chance to see and address the issue.

Redemptive Path – When a person agrees to begin volunteering on your team they are doing more than just giving time and energy; they are agreeing to engage in service that will change and grow them as an individual.  When you fire them you remove them from meaningful service and relationships. A redemptive path is a paved path that leads towards restoration. (click to tweet) Provide clear direction and guidance on what it looks like for the volunteer to eventually re-engage with the team, or with a similar team.  Volunteering is meant to be life-giving and transformational in nature for the person who is serving.  Therefore we must create a path for people to reconnect into meaningful ministry.

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