May 31, 2018 Tony Morgan

4 Signs of Unhealthy Volunteer Teams

Every leader wants healthy volunteers who are reaching their full potential.

How do you know if your volunteers are getting discouraged, burning out or struggling to fulfill their responsibilities?

There is nothing worse than losing a great volunteer. Many people simply disappear when they are struggling rather than reaching out for help. Fortunately, great leaders can notice symptoms and make positive changes that lead to healthy teams.

Your volunteer teams may be struggling if…

People Have Limited Margin 

Today, people are attending church far less than they ever have before. Sports, school activities, weekend travel and other events are certainly competing for people’s time. If people are struggling just to get to church, they are also less likely to have time to serve. Instead of recognizing this trend, many churches continue adding even more programs and events. The more ministry programs and events you try to pull off, the more volunteers it will take. Unfortunately, when people feel overwhelmed, serving is one of the first areas to go. Great volunteer teams have leaders who are intentional about reducing programs and events in order to produce paths that lead to healthy growth. Great volunteer teams have leaders who are intentional about reducing programs and events in order to produce paths that lead to healthy growth. Click To Tweet

People Don’t Have a Clear Growth Plan 

Volunteers, particularly high capacity leaders, can easily get discouraged once they master a given responsibility. Many times, once a volunteer is able to fulfill a need, they quickly get bored with doing the same task again and again. Great volunteer teams are intentional about establishing a clear strategy for equipping and empowering leaders to grow their leadership capacity. Consistently give your teams basic training and resources to help them be fantastic at what they’re doing.

People Are Not Living Life Together

People will not volunteer long-term without community. It is very important for teams to be intentional about providing volunteers with opportunities to develop relationships. Yes, they need to learn about serving and accomplishing their roles, but they also need to understand the importance of living life together.


People Don’t Know How What They’re Doing Fits Into the Bigger Picture

People need to know that what they are doing is making a difference. Every volunteer has made huge sacrifices to be on the team. They already have “normal” jobs. Some of them work in manual labor positions every day, ten hours a day, five or six days a week. Obviously, by the time they finish their work week, they are wiped. But something energizes them. They live for their roles on Sunday. They live to be with and pray with their teams. Great teams always take time out to share the “why” behind what they are doing.

Possibly, you have started seeing some decline in the health of your volunteer teams. Fortunately, each of these areas can be greatly improved with a few adjustments. If you are interested in discovering how to build and grow healthy volunteer teams,  check out my brand new Leading an Unstuck Church Course. The lessons in this online course are a mix of written and video content, self evaluation, discussion and exercises. The phases of the course build on each other, walking you down a clear path to learn the principles and skills necessary to lead a church towards health and growth.

Enrollment for the Leading an Unstuck Church Course is open today, but for a very limited time. I think people learn best as part of a community so we have also included a private Facebook group where I and other members of The Unstuck Group team will coach, answer questions and facilitate discussion in the community. We’re limiting registration so we can personally engage with you well.

Click here to learn more about course. We believe this will help you grow your ability to lead a church towards health and growth.

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Tony Morgan

Tony is the Chief Strategic Officer and founder of The Unstuck Group, For 14 years, Tony served on the senior leadership teams at West Ridge Church (Dallas, GA), NewSpring Church (Anderson, SC) and Granger Community Church (Granger, IN). He's written several books and articles that have been featured with the Willow Creek Association, Catalyst and