As ministries tightened their budget belts these past few years, they’ve also come to rely more on volunteers than ever before. But every ministry knows the challenges that accompany finding—and retaining—quality volunteers. How do you build a successful volunteer program? For starters, begin with a comprehensive orientation program. Shawn Kendrick from VolunteerHub shares his recommendations and best practices.
How have you found success in retaining volunteers?
There’s no avoiding it. Sooner or later, we are all accountable. When it’s welcomed as an integral part of our lives, accountability is the very foundation of personal development and organizational health. When accountability is absent, delayed, or dysfunctional, our character, reputation, and effectiveness suffer. And when the inevitable consequences arise, weakly accountable people are surprised when their lives begin to fall apart.
Scripture is clear that there will come a day of ultimate accountability for every single person. “…for it is written, ‘As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to me,
and every tongue shall confess to God.’ So then each of us will give an account of himself to God.” (Romans 14:11–13)
So what keeps us from welcoming or inviting personal accountability?
- Sometimes we are fearful of being told the truth, or fearful of the consequences of our vulnerability, so we close off ourselves from giving and receiving much-needed, refining, character-building truth about ourselves.
- Those close to us avoid offering feedback because it doesn’t seem safe for others to tell us the truth about ourselves. We get defensive, or even go on the attack, so people just avoid even gentle words of counsel.
- Some accountability suffers when churches and organizations lack the will or processes that enable consistent feedback. It’s not a priority, so most accountability is ad hoc and inconsistent.
As a result, most people and organizations—particularly Christians—aren’t very good at holding one another accountable. This tension at times leads to frustration, inconsistency, lack of fairness. The very thing that Jesus prayed for the church—unity—is weakened or destroyed.
Yet it is in God-honoring accountability that we break down barriers to unity and build up the body of Christ. A stronger, more God-glorifying church emerges from a healthy culture of accountability. “For you know that we dealt with each of you as a father deals with his own children, encouraging, comforting, and urging you to live lives worthy of God, who calls you into his kingdom and glory.” (1 Thessalonians 2:11–12 NIV, emphasis mine)
In my next few blog posts I will explore with you what the Bible says about God-honoring accountability. We’ll answer the question: What should accountability look like and how can we do it well?
I was recently reminded about this important topic during a session with Frank Sommerville, a leading nonprofit attorney. Are musicians, even if they are only used for special events, independent contractors or employees?
In a blog that Frank wrote this year, he identified two organizations that reached the conclusion that musicians are employees of the organization engaging them.
Several years ago, my church went through and changed the status of all our musicians and performers from independent contractors to employees after I read the IRS rules outlining the qualifications of an independent contractor.
While I certainly got some pushback, our decision aligns with the more recent cases affirming that most musicians and performers engaged by ministries are employees, even if they only perform for the Easter or Christmas program.
If you think you might need to make same changes, be sure to look into the IRS’ Voluntary Worker Classification Program, which allows your organization to reclassify these employees with a minimal payment to cover past payroll obligations. (There’s more information on this topic in my blog from November 15, 2011.)
How has your ministry handled this issue? Any difficulty in your decisions?
An upcoming lunch meeting of the Sacramento chapter of the National Association of Church Business Administration (NACBA) offers church business administrators and financial decision makers an opportunity to learn about how to hire the right people.
After a networking time and lunch, attendees will watch a Summit video on “Healthy Hiring” and dialogue during a round table discussion facilitated by Dave Schottky, church administrator with Fair Oaks Presbyterian Church.
This event is scheduled for Thursday, April 5, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at Fair Oaks Presbyterian Church in Fair Oaks, California (11427 Fair Oaks Boulevard).
Reserve your spot by emailing Dave Schottky at firstname.lastname@example.org. To learn more, visit www.eccu.org/sac-nacba-lunch.
Slow economic recovery has translated into flat or reduced giving for many ministries. What can you do to counter the trend?
On March 15, 2012, we will present the free webinar Proven Ways to Increase Giving to Your Ministry. You’ll learn about several ministries that have experienced increased giving and hear how they generated more revenue.
In addition, based on our work with thousands of ministries, some of which thrived while others struggled during the recession, you’ll discover how we helped them become financially healthier.
By attending this webinar, you can expect to learn:
- Specific things ministries have done that actually increased giving
- How to communicate your ministry’s story so people clearly see how it aligns with their passion for ministry
- How to better manage financial resources and free up more to invest in ministry
Space is limited so register today! Click here to register.
For more information, contact us at 800.288.4846 or email@example.com.