By Beth Ostercous
I cannot emphasize strongly enough how important it is to have accurate and up to date job descriptions for your ministry leaders. A recent experience brought this point home to me. Recently I was in the “greeting room” at our church and there was a great volunteer working with the hospitality table. In my normal, “helpful” way, I walked over and started organizing the snacks and tidying the area. As I did, the volunteer hostess asked if she could help me with anything. I realized, she did not “need” my help at all! And the reality was I was probably in her way- although she would never have admitted that. She was very gracious. I wandered out of the greeting room, leaving her to “her job,” and moved on to manage my own tasks for the morning.
I realized I was probably stepping on her toes, although my intent was quite pure. I quickly got out of her way, and thanked her for serving. While this was a very benign situation, I’m sure all of us have had to navigate situations like this, where the parties involved did not have the grace or maturity required to prevent problems from arising. Yet, there are a few simple ways to avoid this sort of tension and create a more harmonious team
1. Have clear cut goals and guidelines for each ministry area and volunteer position
2. Define these expectations in written church job descriptions
3. Enlist the input of your lay leaders and area coordinators
4. Make your church job descriptions and ministry positions available online
5. Review ministry/church job descriptions with volunteers at the start of each session
6. Communicate your expectations clearly to volunteers
7. Let job descriptions guide any evaluations or discussions regarding a volunteer’s service
8. Most importantly, tell your volunteers how they are doing, with grace and tact, sharing your appreciation as well as your suggestions for improvement
9. Review the ministry/church job descriptions when a volunteer’s service is complete
10. Keep your church job descriptions as current as possible to avoid confusion
Remember that serving is about discipleship. Ministry or church job descriptions will empower your volunteers to grow and improve, and to serve with confidence.
This article may not be written by an Apostolic author, but it contains many excellent principles and concepts that can be adapted to most churches. As the old saying goes “Eat the meat. Throw away the bones.”
This article “Quality Job Descriptions Needed” written by Beth Ostercous, was excerpted from: www.volunteerdaily.com newsletter. October 2010. It may be used for study & research purposes only.