As my dearly departing volunteers depart, I think hard about how to fill their shoes. In part 1, we looked at making their departure smooth and meaningful. I prayerfully consider whether the ministry program needs to be changed or dropped.
Next, I delve deeper into what kind of volunteer(s) I need to fill the position.
We talk about filling someone’s shoes, but shoes come in all shapes and sizes: loafers, boots, dress shoes, sandals, cross-trainers, flip-flops, and on and on. They all have their special functions and, most of the time, they are not interchangeable.
The same is true of volunteers. They have different spiritual gifts, of course, but it goes beyond that. The following list probably just scratches the surface:
Visionaries – They see possibilities and set direction.
Organizers – Up front or behind the scenes, they pull resources together.
“Leaders” – These large-group and small-group facilitators aren’t afraid of the spotlight.
Support – Whatever you need, they’ll have your back.
Gophers – They’ll go-fer this and go for that. Fold. Stamp. Stuff. Happy just to help!
Admin – Register folks. Take roll. Count contributions.
Skilled – Run the sound booth. Play the keyboard. Design outreach materials. Create/manage your website.
When I have a vacancy, I think about the type of volunteer I need. Like shoes, they are not interchangeable. Visionaries and leaders may be able to keep roll, but they are likely to get bored or see ways to improve a system that doesn’t need fixing. Gophers and support may say ‘yes” to please you (and because that’s what you need), but they may freeze or fumble when they have to take center stage.
Use the list of types as a starting point. What type are you? What type is the departing volunteer? What types do you have on the team, and what do you need going forward?
Then pray about your team and your vacancy. Let God open your eyes to people who might be the perfect fit.
Do you see other types of volunteers for the list? Leave a comment.