If you find yourself in a season like this with one of your team members, here are a few simple ways we, as leaders, can support them as they walk through it.
Give Them Space
If it seems like serving on your team has become a chore or even a burden for your volunteer, have a conversation with them about their serving schedule. Do they serve every weekend? What would it look like for them to take off a Sunday once a month? Where can you make room for them to have time to rest? Sometimes, a volunteer will need to take a complete break from the team for a certain length of time. It may create a burden for you temporarily, but the health of your team member is far more important than filling their spot on a Sunday morning.
Be a Listening Ear
Don’t just ask how things are going- listen! Too often, we inquire as to how someone is coping but we don’t take time to hear what they say. Sit down before or after a rehearsal and just listen. They might not need advice, they simply might need to vent frustration and know that someone cares about the stress they are going through.
Pray WITH Them
Before each rehearsal for our worship team, we take time to share what’s going on in our lives and how we could use prayer. This allows for us to hear what needs there are but most importantly, it gives up the opportunity to pray together. The most important way you can support your volunteers is to pray with them.
If you have been in ministry for any length of time, you know that there are times when you will receive the blunt end of someone’s frustrations. We need to understand that as easy as it is to get offended when someone is having an issue, it’s not always about us. It might be just an overflow from what they have been dealing with in their family or at work. Always evaluate issues that are brought up by a volunteer but also keep in mind that emotions may be more sensitive due to what they are dealing with and it could be that there is sometime much deeper going on.
Working with volunteers can be challenging as you walk through seasons of their lives, but it’s also a tremendous blessing! Be there for them, be willing to make adjustments when needed and most of all pray for them. Not only will your volunteers grow and benefit personally, but the health of your team will flourish as you make every effort to care for them as their leader.