I’ve had a number of seasons where I attempt healthy eating. My wife and I have tried doing the Paleo things, we have done Whole30, and lots of other plans for cleaning up your eating habits.  Probably the most frustrating thing about many of those plans is that they work.  If I could be honest – I hate that they work.  You know why?  Cause I love carbs.  You can take a lot away from me…just don’t take my carbs.

One of the things I have noticed to be true in those healthy eating seasons is that the process of eating turns from an enjoyable segment of my day to basically a simple function.  Let me explain…

I love hamburgers.  A hamburger with a bun is a fun little meal, reminds you of summers grilling out or perhaps tailgating before a good football game.  A hamburger without a bun is a functional piece of protein that helps give me energy for the following 4-6 hours. Now I do all I can to dress it up – but a bun less burger is a fun-less burger.

I’m being a little over dramatic.  In the end, a hamburger is just a hamburger – but one is a whole lot more fun!

Why am I talking about hamburgers?  Because much like a hamburger is just a hamburger we could easily view a services opportunity as just another time to serve.

Our volunteer teams should be one of the most relational environments a person can experience. Our goal is to accomplish some great work together, but relationships make it meaningful and enjoyable in the process.  Can we serve without making it highly relational?  Yes – but it will feel a bit like eating a bun-less hamburger – it will be functional at best.  It will get the job done, but all of us long for a little more than simply getting the job done.

Under pressure we easily default to function.  Under pressure the last thing we want to give time and energy towards is the relational leadership element of our team.  The relational element is what makes the team fun and exciting.  It is what draws people in during the dry seasons.  The relational component is the piece that makes a team accessible and sticky.

A hamburger is not complete without the bun.  A volunteer experience is not complete without the relational component.  As you think through and craft the volunteer experience for your team give special attention to the relational element.  In the process of accomplishing great things with your team make sure to keep it relational!